On 29 November 1925, Cotopaxi departed Charleston, South Carolina, for Havana, Cuba, under the command of Captain W. J. Meyer. She was carrying a cargo of coal and a crew of 32. On 1 December, Cotopaxi radioed a distress call reporting that the ship was listing and taking on water. The ship was officially listed as overdue on 31 December.
Despite the last radio transmission indicating that the ship was about to sink, she has since been connected to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.