Northern Alaska Shipwrecks ( U-V-W )

VICTORIA (1871)     The 149.38 ton whaling brig Victoria was abandoned in the ice around Point Belcher and lost September 14, 1871.  The vessel sailed out of San Francisco and had a value at the time of the disaster of $30,000.

                Mapping and Location : Northern Alaska  70 47 40 N 159 39 02 W  Chart 16005

                Additional Information : Tonnage 149.38, Registered San Francisco, ON 25786, SL JFWS

                Sources : 1. Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet, 1871 (1876), 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1868) Pg 242

 

VICTORIA II (1871)     The whaling bark Victoria II was abandoned in the ice off Point Belcher and lost September 14, 1871.  The Victoria II sailed out of Honolulu, Sandwich Islands and had an estimated value at the time of the disaster of $25,000.

                Mapping and Location : Northern Alaska  70 47 40 N 159 39 02 W  Chart 16005

                Sources : 1. Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914, 2. Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet, 1871 (1876) Lost Vessels List

 

W A FARNSWORTH (1877)     The 432 ton bark W A Farnsworth was lost off Point Barrow September 15, 1877.  The following is from an 1877 Boston Herald interview of Charles Hamill, a mate from the W A Farnsworth, describing the loss:

                “…From Point Barrow, the W A Farnsworth steered southwest along by the land, with ice scattering and light.  At midnight, September 15th, about 50 miles east of Cape Lisburn, she ran into a piece of ice while wearing, stove her bow, and sank in 20 minutes.  All hands took to the boats, and got clear of the vessel just before she rolled over and went down, all but the tips of her yards, which were left just out of the water.  At daylight the crew got on the bark Thomas Pope. And three hours afterward spoke the Dawn, of San Francisco, which took on board Captain Keenan, Mr. Hamill and one boat’s crew from the W A Farnsworth, and arrived at San Francisco September 26th….”

                Mapping and Location : Northern  Alaska  68 53 N 166 13 W  Chart 16005

                Sources : 1. Alaska File of the U S Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914 Arctic Losses 1868-1888, 2. Boston Herald November 17, 1877 Tidings From The Fleet in the Northern Oceans

 

WILLIAM H ALLEN (1878)     The 157 ton brig William H Allen was stove in by ice and sank at Cape Smyth August 2, 1878.  The vessel was out of Honolulu on an Arctic trading voyage.

                Mapping and Location : Northern Alaska  71 17 35 N 156 47 15 W  Chart 16003

                Source : Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

WILLIAM LEWIS (1891)     The 463 ton 134 foot steam bark William Lewis stranded and was lost at Point Barrow at 7 o’clock p.m. Saturday October 3, 1891.  The vessel departed San Francisco December 20, 1890 on an Arctic Ocean whaling voyage with 45 crewmen.  Her cargo at the time of the disaster was 26,000 pounds of whale oil and bone valued at $30,000.  The William Lewis had a value of $50,000.  The vessel ran ashore in a gale and snowstorm, piling up on a snow covered sand spit at Point Barrow.  The captain mistook the spit for slush ice.  The crew and most of the cargo were rescued by the steamers Belvedere and Navarch.  On March 20, 1892 the William Lewis was accidently burned by salvers.  The vessel was insured for $30,000.  The cargo had no insurance; all but $5,000 worth was salvaged.  There was no loss of life.

                Mapping and Location : Northern Alaska  71 23 29 N 156 28 30 W  Chart 16003

                Additional Information : Tonnage 463 Gross 332.24 Net, Length 134, Breadth 30, Depth 16.5, NHP 250, Built 1888 at Bath ME, SL KFHW, Registered New Bedford MA, ON 81194, Master Albert C Sherman of New Bedford, Owner William Lewis of New Bedford

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report December 16, 1891 at New Bedford MA by William Lewis per Agent, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

WILLIAM ROTCH (1871)     The 290 ton wooden bark William Rotch was lost in the ice around Point Barrow September 14, 1871.  She was forced ashore by ice and abandoned south of Wainwright Inlet.  The William Rotch was out of New Bedford, Massachusetts on a whaling voyage.  Her last port was Honolulu.  Her value at the time of the disaster was $43,000.  There was no loss of life.

                Mapping and Location : Northern Alaska  70 36 N 160 W  Chart 16005

                Sources : 1. Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet, 1871 (1876), 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

 

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