The Northern Lights was a small, elderly ferry which connected Prince Rupert with Skidegate on the Queen Charlotte Islands. She was a slow, coal burning vessel but adequate for the job. Most of her passengers were either sailors going on leave and coming back or civilians having business with the navy.
Colonel Thomas Bushell and his companions took the Northern Lights to Skidegate in their investigation of the theft of The Two Georges. On the return voyage, it was Bushell's and Captain Samuel Stanley's sad duty to escort the coffin containing the body of their colleague, Lt. Colonel Felix Crooke, to the RAM offices in Prince Rupert.