South East Alaska Shipwrecks ( R )

RAINBOW (1932)     The 8 ton 32 foot gas screw towing vessel Rainbow broke loose from her mooring and was lost at 8:00 p.m. Thursday May 5, 1932.  The vessel was operated locally around Ketchikan and had no one aboard at the time of the tragedy.  The following are statements taken from the casualty report:

                “5 ½ miles W Totem Bay, Kupreanof Is.”  “Stormy weather”  “Stranded”  “Force 7, stormy, sea rough, dark”  “No knowledge of casualty until vessel found stranded”  “Vessel broke free moorings in high sea and stormy weather, and washed ashore; vessel totally demolished on rocky shore”

                The Rainbow was valued at $1,000 and had no cargo and no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 28 N 133 23 W  Chart 17360

                Additional Information : Tonnage 8 Gross 6 Net, Length 32, Breadth 9.7, Depth 4.1, Built 1910 Port Townsend WA, Horsepower 20, Registered Ketchikan, ON 207837, Master Alex Miller, Owners Antone Carlson and W G Haugen of Ketchikan

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty June 24, 1932 at Ketchikan by Alex Miller, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1931) Pgs 472-3

 

RAINIER (1903)     The 179 ton 81 foot wooden fishing steamer Rainier stranded and was lost in Icy Strait at 3:45 p.m. Sunday October 25, 1903.  The vessel departed Juneau October 24th bound for Icy Straits and the fishing grounds.  There were 25 crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report:

                “1 ½ miles NW by W ½ W of Spasskaia Island, Alaska”  “Striking unknown rock while fishing”  “Strong breeze, cloudy, sea smooth”  “Jettisoned coal and bait”  “…chartered str. Cornelia Cook and secured divers and borrowed from U S revenue cutter Rush one 6” Manilla hawser, 125 fathoms, and one jack screw and provisions”  “Oct. 26, 1903, chartered str. Cornelia Cook and proceeded with divers and scows to wreck, but owing to short tides and strong gale from NE vessel broke up to such extent and was impossible to remove vessel from rock”

                The Rainier was valued at $7,000 and was a total loss.  There was no insurance on the vessel.  The crewmen all survived the disaster.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 06 15 N 135 17 20 W  Chart 17316

                Comment : Modern name Spasski Island. WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 179 Gross 109 Net, Length 81.4, Breadth 20.9, Depth 9.7, Built 1887 at Seattle WA, Registered Fairhaven WA, ON 110748, Master Herbert Churchill of Seattle, Owner Chlopek Fish Co of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report November 4, 1903 by Herbert Churchill, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1902) Pg 293

 

RAMONA (1911)     The 1,061 ton 195 foot wooden passenger steamer Ramona stranded and was lost in Christian Sound at 8:37 p.m. Sunday September 10, 1911.  The vessel was travelling from Hunter Bay to Seattle with 23 passengers and 52 crewmen on board.  She was carrying 405 tons of salmon and general  cargo, valued at $165,000.  The conditions at the time of the wreck were “light wind, swell, foggy, at night”.  The cause is listed as “misplaced position in fog”.  The Ramona stranded “on an unknown reef off Middle Spanish Island, Christian Sound, Alaska.”

                The passengers and crew reached safety, assisted by the steamers Grand, Northwestern and Delhi.  75% of the cargo was salvaged, but the Ramona was a total loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  55 57 N 134 07 W  Chart 17400

                Additional Information : Tonnage 1,061, Length 195, Breadth 32, Depth 15.7, IHP 90, SL KRWP, Built 1912 at Alameda CA, Master M J Taaffe of Seattle, Owner P C Co of New York, Vessel Insurance $95,000, Cargo Insurance unknown

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report September 28, 1911 by H M Noble, Supt. P C SS Co

 

RELIANCE (1926)     The 11 ton 39 foot wooden gas screw Reliance sank in Taku Inlet at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday December 15, 1926.  There were two crewmen on board.  The vessel departed Juneau that day bound for Petersburg.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

                “Taku Inlet, opp. Pt. Bishop”  “Strong wind, rough sea”  “Overheated engine ignited gas fumes in cabin”  “Wrecked (Explosion and sank)”  “Launched skiff and drifted to Green Cove, Admiralty Island, Alaska from which place they were brought to Juneau on board Coast Guard Cutter Unalga

                The Reliance had a value of $3,000 and was a total loss.  There was no cargo on board and no insurance. 

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 12 10 N 134 08 45 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Tonnage 11 Gross 7 Net, Length 38.7, Breadth 10, Depth 4, Built 1908 at Port Madison WA, Horsepower 18, Registered Juneau, ON 205215, Master E Stage of Juneau, Owner H Vance of Juneau

                Sources : 1. U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty December 16, 1926 by D H Vance at Juneau, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1926) Pgs 479-80

 

RESOLUTE (1935)     The 82 ton 104 foot wooden gas screw Resolute was lost in Stephen’s Passage at 8:40 a.m. January 21, 1935.  The vessel was travelling from Juneau to Stephen’s Passage with four crewmen aboard.  The following are statements taken from the casualty report filed by Arthur J LaGasa, master and owner of the Resolute:

                “Heavy gale, heavy seas”  “1/2 mile from entrance to Oliver’s Inlet Stephen’s Passage SE Alaska”  “Stranded”  “Let vessel go on beach on purpose”  “Sprung bad leak and had to be beached”  “Equipment only will be saved.  Vessel is high and dry on beach and not a menace to navigation”  “U S Coast Guard Tallapoosa picked up crew next morning”  “Total Loss”

                The Resolute was valued at $1,500 at the time of the disaster.  There was no cargo on board and no insurance.  No lives were lost.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 08 30 N 134 19 45 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Tonnage 82 Gross 56 Net, Length 104, Breadth 23.5, Depth 10.8, Built 1887 at Mill No 4 OR, Horsepower 85, Registered Juneau, ON 110747, Master and Owner Arthur J LaGasa of Juneau

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty Jan 28, 1936 at Juneau, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1934) Pgs 526-7

 

RESTLESS (1910)     The 9 ton 31 foot wooden yawl Restless stranded and was lost near Prince of Wales Island at 11:00 p.m. Thursday February 10, 1910.  The vessel departed Wrangel December 25, 1909 bound for Baranof Island “trapping”, with master and owner S E Mattison, and James Hansen, a seaman, aboard.  S E Mattison was lost in the disaster.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by Hansen:

                “Strong breeze from the SW, snowing and dark”  “7 mile point between Shipley Bay and Shakan, Alaska (North end Prince of Wales Island”  “Stranding”  “Breaking of anchor chains”  “Came to anchor in bight under 7 mi. Point, chain broke, and we were on the rocks before another anchor could be brought into service.. About six hours before loss of vessel Mattison was evacuating over the port side of vessel, which was running free before a strong breeze.  I succeeded after several minutes effort in bringing vessel about, and making two tacks ran across locality where Mattison went over.  I saw nothing of his body, and proceeded toward seven mile point, where the vessel went on the beach as above stated”

                The Restless, valued at $500, was a total loss. There was no cargo on board.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 06 N 133 38 W  Chart 17400

                Additional Information : Tonnage 9 Tons Net and Gross, Length 31, Breadth 11.2, Depth 3.7, Built 1904 at Aberdeen WA, Registered Port Townsend WA, ON 200672

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report February 25, 1910 at Wrangel by James Hansen

 

REUBEN L RICHARDSON (1917)   The 92 net ton schooner Reuben L Richardson was wrecked in Clarence Strait in 1917.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  54 45 N 131 42 W  Chart 16016

                Sources : 1. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 294, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

 

RICHMOND (1914)     The 12 ton 34 foot wooden gas screw Richmond sank in Clarence Strait at 11 p.m. Tuesday December 1, 1914.  The vessel departed Ketchikan November 29th bound for Wrangell with two crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report:

                “Light breeze, fair weather, smooth sea, moonlight”  “5 miles SE Lincoln Rock, Alaska”  “Striking a sunken log, and foundering”  “Men on watch, but owing to log being submerged did not observe it”

     The Richmond had a value of $1,800 and became a total loss.  There was no cargo on board and the crew made it to safety.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 03 25 N 132 41 50 W  Chart 17382

                Additional Information : Tonnage 12 Gross 8 Net, Length 34.4, Breadth 10.3, Depth 4.4, Service Towing, Horsepower 20, Built 1911 at Seattle WA, Registered Seattle, ON 208859, Master R D Merwin of Ketchikan, Owner P C Peterson of Seattle, Insurance unknown

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report December 3, 1914 by Merwin at Ketchikan, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1913) Pg 280

 

ROLFE (1924)     The 14 ton 45 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Rolfe stranded and was lost in Sumner Strait at 9 p.m. Friday January 11, 1924.  The vessel and her crew of five departed Ketchikan that day for deep sea fisheries.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

                “No wind, fair weather, dark and no sea”  “Night and very dark and strong tide carried vessel off course”  “Rock off Point Colpoys, Sumner Strait, Southeastern Alaska”  “Stranding”  “After stranding, an anchor was run out but vessel filled rapidly and crew were compelled to leave vessel.  A small gas boat took crew to Petersburg, Alaska”  “On January 13, 1924, Coast Guard cutter Smith came to the wreck but was unable to do anything.  Crew was brought to Ketchikan, Alaska, on Smith”  “total loss”

                The Rolfe, valued at $3,000 was a total loss.  She was carrying no cargo.  There was no loss of life.  The Rolfe was insured for $2,623.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 20 N 133 12 W  Chart 17360

                Comment : Merchant Vessels (1924) puts this loss in Clarence Strait.  WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 14 Gross 10 Net, Length 45.4, Breadth 12.9, Depth 4.3, Built 1906 at Ballard WA, Registered Ketchikan, ON 203010, Master and Owner Andrew Nelson of Prince Rupert, BC

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty March 19, 1924 by Andrew Nelson at Ketchikan, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1924) Pg 438

 

ROSALEE (1932)     The 11 ton 33 foot gas screw fishing vessel Rosalee stranded and burned near Point Hilda at 6:00 a.m. Sunday December 4, 1932.  The vessel departed Juneau November 29th bound for Tenakee with two person aboard.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

                “Near Point Hilda, Alaska”  “Strong Southwest wind”  “Engine stopped and wind blew vessel on beach.  Fire in stove ignited gasoline and vessel burned up ½ hour after beaching”  “Anchor was thrown out but parted”  “Stranded and burned”

                The Rosalee was valued at $800 and became a total loss, no cargo.  The crew escaped to safety.  The Rosalee had no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 13 N 134 30 10 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Tonnage 11 Gross 7 Net, Length 32.8, Breadth 10.4, Depth 5, Built 1931 at Wrangell, Registered Juneau, ON 230847, Master Jos. M Adamson of Juneau, Owners Adamson & Cruden of Juneau

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty by W J Cruden at Juneau, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1932) Pgs 502-3

 

ROSARIO (1922)     The 24 ton 40 foot wooden fishing vessel Rosario drug anchor in a severe storm in Katlian Bay, stranded and was lost at 4:00 a.m. March 12, 1922.  The vessel departed Ketchikan February 27, 1922 on a halibut fishing trip with five crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

                “Entrance Katlina Bay, Kruzof Isld., near Sitka”  “Strong Northwest wind, seas rough, snowing”  “Anchored, severe storm came up parting chains; vessel blown ashore before could get under way”  “Stranding”  “Soon as anchor chains parted started engine, but rudder hit rocks, broke off, vessel went ashore”  “Lost rudder, propeller, shaft log, keel, and considerable planking”  “Indications total loss”

                The Rosario was carrying 2,000 pounds of fresh halibut at the time of the disaster.  The vessel and her cargo were total losses.  The crew made it to safety.  The Rosario was valued at $3,500 and her cargo at $160.  The vessel was insured for $3,000 but had no cargo insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 09 N 135 23 W  Chart 17324

                Comment : Katlian Bay is opposite Kruzof Island near Sitka.  WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 24 Gross 16 Net, Length 40.6, Breadth 12.9, Depth 7.6, Built 1914 at Seattle WA, IHP 25, Registered Seattle, ON 212158, Master and part owner John Sater of Seattle, 2nd Owner Pacific Fishing & Trading Company of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty March 23, 1922 at Sitka by John Sater, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1922) Pg 318

 

ROSE (1882)     The 46 ton 65 foot wooden gas screw steamer Rose ran onto a rock near Sitka at 2:00 Tuesday September 26, 1882.  The vessel had departed Sitka September 24th on a prospecting cruise.  There was a charter party of two passengers and five crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by A T Whitford, master of the Rose:

                “Moderate gale, heavy swell”  “Between Error Island and Bridarlin Island, 4 ½ miles So. of Sitka”  “Running on a rock and bilging”  “Rock not laid down on chart”  “Commander Pearson, U S S Wachusett, getting vessel off Rock and brought her into harbor.”

                The Rose was valued at $5,000 and damage to her was $5,000.  There was no cargo and no insurance.  No lives were lost.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 00 35 N 135 19 10 W  Chart 17326

                Comment : This vessel may have been salvaged as it is show in service in 1885.  Evidence of the wreck may still be on site and of interest.  WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 45.85 Gross 23.29 Net, Length 65, Breadth 14.7, Depth 6.9, IHP 40, Built 1867 at Sitka, Registered Sitka, ON 110234, Master and part owner A T Whitford, Owners A T Whitford, John Parker and T C Doran all of Sitka

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report October 4, 1882 at Sitka by A T Whitford, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1885) Pg 367

 

ROSE MARIE (1929)     The 22 ton 42 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Rose Marie caught fire and was lost near the Porcupine Islands at 4:30 a.m. Saturday July 13, 1929.  The crew of two departed Ketchikan June 18, 1929 for the fishing grounds.  There were 600 pounds of salmon aboard worth $100 at the time of the disaster.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed by Otto Olsen, master of the Rose Marie:

                “Outside Porcupine Islands, S E Alaska”  “Fire”  “Cause of fire unknown”  “Martin Tenneson one of the crew was asleep in pilot house at the time of the fire, escaped uninjured”  “Troller T860 and Virginia III (assisted) crew picked up and taken to …po(?)”  “Total loss…burned up, sank”

                The Rose Marie, valued at $8,100, and her cargo of salmon were total losses.  The vessel was fully insured but the cargo was not covered.  No lives were lost.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 48 N 136 23 W  Chart 17321

                Additional Information : Tonnage 22 Gross 15 Net, Length 41.7, Breadth 12.1, Depth 6.1, Built 1928 at Poulsbo WA, Horsepower 30, Registered Ketchikan, ON 227471, Master Otto Olsen of Ketchikan, Owner Nordby Supply Co of Alaska

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty July 19, 1929 at Ketchikan, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1929) Pgs 492-3

 

ROYAL CHARLIE (1865)     The well know Victoria trading vessel Royal Charlie was seized by the Kake Indians about 200 miles north of the Stikeen River in September of 1865.  On board were Captain Thomas Goin, crewmen James Habut and John Cashman, trader Thomas Crowley and two Stickeen Indian boys.  All aboard were attacked and killed by the Kake Indians except the two Stickeen Indian boys.  Some records indicate the Saginaw Bay Indians near Kake were the culprits.  The following is an excerpt from the 1883 Coast Pilot referencing Halleck Bay in Saginaw Bay:

                “This harbor was selected by Major General Halleck as the site of a military post, but subsequently abandoned for Kootsnahoo.  (Commander R W) Meade anchored here February 14, 1869 and destroyed five of the six houses that constituted the settlement as a punishment for murders committed by these Indians”

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 55 N 134 13 W  Chart 17320

                Comment : I have charted this wreck in Halleck Bay for lack of a better place.  WG

                Sources : 1. Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1895) Pg 144, 2. Pacific Coast Pilot Alaska Part 1 (1883) Pg 124 (footnote)

 

RUSTLER (1939)     The 11 ton 38 foot gas screw fishing vessel Rustler swamped and was lost in Sumner Strait at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday August 29, 1939.  The vessel was out of Wrangell, fishing with four crewmen on board.  There were 30,000 pounds of fresh fish as cargo when the disaster occurred.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed by Charlie George, Master of the Rustler:

                “Calm, calm sea”  “3/4 of a mile South of Port Protection Point Sumner Strait, SE Alaska”  “Swamped”  “Stern filled with water between hold and after timbers”  “Kept pumps going, but water was not in hold; hence unable to pump it out”  “Rowed in skiff over to Point Baker where crew was brought in by ARB 8

                The Rustler had a value of $2,500 and her cargo of fish, $350.  Both were complete losses.  There was no loss of life.  The Rustler was insured for $1,000 with no coverage for her cargo.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 19 20 N 133 36 35 W  Chart 17378

                Additional Information : Tonnage 11 Gross 7 Net, Length 38.6, Breadth 10.6, Depth 3.8, Horsepower 12, Built 1905 at Wrangell, Registered Wrangell, ON 229525, Master Charlie George of Wrangell, Owner Wrangell Packing Company

                Sources : 1. U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty August 30, 1939 at Wrangell, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1939) Pg 264

 

RUTH MAY (1929)     The 19 ton 41 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Ruth May struck a submerged object and sank near Ryus Bay at 7:30 p.m. Monday October 14, 1929.  The vessel departed Ketchikan that day bound for Ryus Bay with only master and part owner, Mike Mathison, aboard.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed by Mathison:

                “Light SE wind and sea, dark and rainy”  “About 2 mi. N Ryus Bay”  “Collided with some object, filled and sank”  “Evidently some floating or submerged object punched hole in hull”  “Shifted everything possible from port to starboard to get hole above water line without avail”

                The Ruth May had a value of $7,000 and was a total loss.  There was no cargo on board. No lives were lost.  The vessel had insurance for $6,700.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  54 58 N 131 25 W  Chart 17434

                Additional Information : Tonnage 19 Gross 13 Net, Length 41, Breadth 11.3, Depth 5.8, Built 1927 at Port Blakely WA, IHP 20, Registered Seattle, ON 226680, Master and part owner Mike Mathison of Port Blakely WA, Owners Mike Mathison and William Schell of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty October 28, 1929 at Ketchikan, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1929) Pgs496-7

 

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