Daily Event for April 3

April 3, 1884 not far from where the SS Atlantic was wrecked in 1873 the SS Daniel Steinman met the same fate. The story is like many others about shipwrecks around Nova Scotia, fog, strong currents and a ship off course. The Steinman, arriving from Europe, had been traveling in fog for several days and this was the explanation the captain gave for being off course.

As he approached the coast in the early morning hours captain Schoonhoven could see the light at Sambro Island. Realizing he was too close to shore he ordered the ship hard to port but before the helm responded she hit the rocks. It was not a devastating blow but the ship was repeatedly dashed against the rocks until she broke up. People tried to get in the boats but the sea was just too rough. Most of the boats were destroyed by the waves and rocks.

The best efforts seemed to have been made by the crew but sometimes fate can not be overcome by man. Only 9 people survived, including the captain. However, one hundred and twenty one souls were lost on that cold night.

On his first crossing since the Daniel Steinmann disaster captain Schoonhoven's next ship, Helvetia, was also lost. On May 9, 1885, after being damaged by ice the ship went down off Scatarie Island. This time all onboard were saved.

© 2006 Michael W. Pocock

A drawing of the Daniel Steinman.

(Photo courtesy of Leo van Ginderen )