Photo: Sinking of the Prinsendam, 1980

Images from another time

Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The 427-foot cruise ship Prinsendam drifts after its passengers and crew abandoned it Oct. 4, 1980, in the Gulf of Alaska, 120 miles west of Glacier Bay National Monument. The ship was on its way from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Singapore when it was gutted by fire and sank. All 524 of its crew and passengers were saved due to the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard, several other agencies and the supertanker Williamsburgh. The Juneau Fire Department was called out to round up the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell, which was in Juneau to celebrate the town's centennial. Firemen retrieved the Boutwell crew from various bars around town, and the Boutwell ended up playing a key role in the rescue. A complete account of the rescue can be found at

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