I was about 12 or 13 when I recall being on the Aurora when it ran aground in Peril Straits. I know at that time it was attributed to a steering failure. I remember the chaos it caused as it was night and the tide through the Straits ran like a wild river. I remember seeing blue sparks glowing in the water and an awful shudder as the propeller was hitting the beach. We were able to pull off and anchor off shore; awaiting evacuation to another vessel. I remember not wanting to give up my life vest even though the crew announced that they were no longer necessary. Come daylight we were herded into lifeboats off the back end of the Aurora and through choppy waters headed to the Taku where we were lifted aboard and taken to Juneau. We were treated very well by the crews of both vessels. It is a memory that I will not soon forget. I did not notice it mentioned in Tuesday's article about the LeConte grounding. I am very thankful that there were no serious injuries last time or this time.
Sonya M. Smith
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