South Central Alaska Shipwrecks ( I )

IDA WATTS (1908)     The 98 ton two masted schooner Ida Watts was wrecked at Sand Point December of 1908 with the loss of one native crewman.  The vessel was built at Ballard in 1885 and was for many years operating as a coaster out of San Francisco.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 20 15 N 160 30 W  Chart 16553

                Sources : 1. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)  2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 156

IKAROSS (1928)     The 22 ton wooden gas screw Ikaross was destroyed by fire at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday September 26, 1928 between Cordova and the cannery in Eyak River.  John Hartelrad, master of the Ikaross departed Cordova that morning with two other crewmen and at some point an engine backfire, said to be caused by water in the fuel, started the fire.  The heavy winds made it impossible to check the flames even with the use of the two pyrene fire extinguishers aboard.  The Ikarose, valued at $3,500 became a total loss.  The crew escaped to safety.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 30 N 145 40 W  Chart 16709

                Additional Information : Tonnage 22 Gross 18 Net, Built 1915, Registered Seward, ON 213339, Owner Pioneer Seafood, Vessel Insurance unknown

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty at Cordova September 27, 1928 by Hartelrad

IMPERIAL (1931)     The 22 ton gas screw Imperial was lost in a fire while anchored at Copper River Flats at 8:00 a.m. Friday May 28, 1931.  The owner and master of the Imperial, Aton F Novatney of Yakutat was three miles away fishing when he noticed the fire.  No one else was aboard the vessel.  The Imperial was valued at $3,500 and her cargo of three tons of supplies and fishing gear valued at $1,000; all lost no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 25 N 145 W  Chart 16013

                Additional Information : Tonnage 22 Gross 15 Net, Age 19 years, Registered Juneau, ON 206922, Last Port Cordova

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed at Cordova by Novatney June 13, 1931

INDEPENDENT (1916)     The 151 ton steam screw fishing vessel Independent struck a reef and was abandoned at 4:50 a.m. Friday October 6, 1916 near Middleton Island.  The vessel departed Juneau September 28, 1916 bound for sea fisheries with a crew of 38.  She had 20,000 lbs. of fresh halibut aboard worth $1,600 at the time of the casualty.  The following are excerpts from the report of casualty filed at Juneau by Thomas A Miller, master of the Independent:

                “Gale, heavy sea, dark and rainy.”  “According to log had 10 more miles to run and then should have cleared island by 10 miles to southward.”  “Unusual currents”  “Vessel had been slowed down for …minutes and stopped for five minutes when struck lightly, then swung her around on opposite course, ran two minutes when struck again hard carrying away rudder, water soon put fires out and vessel began sinking, compelled to abandon her.”  “Reef about three miles off Middleton Island…stranded”

                The Independent was valued at $50,000 at the time of the wreck and it was not know whether there was any insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 26 N 146 20 W  Chart 16013

                Additional Information : Tonnage 151 Net, Built 1911 at Tacoma Washington, Registered Seattle, ON 208322, Master Thomas A Miller of Seattle, Owner Weiding & Independent Fisheries Co

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed at Juneau October 13, 1916 by Miller

INDEPENDENT (1920)     The 17 ton wooden gas screw Independent had her engine break down, drifted ashore, stranded and was lost at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday June 29, 1920 on the eastern spit at the entrance to Dry Bay.  The Independent left East River June 27th bound for Dry Bay and had two crew and 3000 lbs. of salmon aboard when the casualty occurred.  The vessel was valued at $4,500 and the salmon at $125.  The crew made it to safety but the Independent and her cargo were lost.  The weather was cloudy with rain, SE wind and heavy SE swell and the barometer at 29.84.  Anchors were dropped when the engine failed, but owing to strong currents they did not hold.  The insurance on the vessel was for $4,500 but only covered fire.  The cargo had a blanket policy.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska 59 08 N 138 25 W  Chart 16760

                Comment : Most likely Dry Bay near East (Alsek) River. WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 17 Gross 11 Net, Built 1911, Registered at Juneau and Seattle, ON 208782, Master B W Branch, Owner Libby McNeil & Libby

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed in Seattle by F Svensson, General Superintendent Libby, McNeil & Libby November 22, 1920

ISABEL (1888)     The 184 ton two masted cod fishing schooner Isabel foundered at sea in 1888 in the Shumagin Islands with the loss of 14 crew.  The Isabel was valued at $15,000 with cargo at the time of the loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 10 N 160 W  Chart 16551

                Sources : 1. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992), 2. Dept of Commerce – Pacific Cod Fisheries (1916) Pg 108

ISLAND BELLE (1889)     The 44 foot 19 ton wooden schooner Island Belle stranded and was lost on the southern shore of Delarof Harbor at 5 p.m. Sunday September 15, 1889.  The vessel had left Humbolt Harbor for Unga Harbor in ballast with a crew of four.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed in San Francisco November 23, 1889 by W C Lynde, managing owner:

                “Missed stays, heavy swell, change of wind while in lee of high bluff.  Very strong.  After heavy storm, heavy swell.  Just before dark.”  “Another attempt to tack ship.  But on account of current, of wind suddenly changing, and high bluff making a lee, vessel was helpless in heavy sea among rocks and on lee shore.  Struck rock, went about, but found rock had carried away rudder entirely….Two minutes later dashed on beach.”

                The crew were assisted by fishermen from Unga Harbor.  The Island Belle, valued at $3,000 was a total loss with no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 10 30 N 160 30 W  Chart 16006

                Additional Information : Length 43.5, Breadth 15, Depth 5.7, Built 1888 in California City California, Tonnage 19.14, Age one year four months, Registered San Francisco, ON 100421, Master John North of Humbolt Harbor Alaska, Owner W C Lynde M.O. of San Francisco

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report of November 23, 1889

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