South East Alaska Shipwrecks ( X-Y-Z )

YOUNG AMERICA (1925)     An explosion and fire destroyed the 34 ton 51 foot gas screw fishing vessel Young America at Sitka at 4:45 p.m. Monday May 25, 1925.  The vessel had departed Seward May 6, 1925 bound for sea fisheries with six crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed by Oswald Olsen, master and owner of the Young America:

                “Calm, daylight”  “Face of Sitka Wharf & Power Company’s Dock at Sitka, Alaska”  “Gas explosion and fire”  “Instant explosion without apparent cause”  “Boat had just finished taking fuel”  “Dock and city chemical engines with City and Dock fire hose (assisted)” 

                The Young America had a value of $11,000 and was a total loss.  The only cargo was ballast and stores.  The vessel was insured for $8,000.  There was no loss of life.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 03 N 135 20 W  Chart 17320

                Additional Information : Tonnage 34 Gross 27 Net, Length 50.9, Breadth 14, Depth 6.6, IHP 40, Built 1917 at Dockton WA, Registered Seattle, ON 215186, Master and owner Oswald Olsen of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty at Sitka May 28, 1925, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1924) Pg 301

 

YUCATAN (1910)     The 3,525 ton 336 foot steam screw schooner rigged steel ship Yucatan collided with floating ice and was lost in Icy Strait at 9 a.m. Wednesday February 16, 1910.  The vessel departed Cordova February 13, 1910 bound for Juneau and Seattle with 60 passengers and 84 officers and crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed at Seattle:

                “Mud Bay, Icy Straits, Alaska”  “Collision with floating ice and vessel beached”  “Daylight, intermittent snow squalls”  “Proceeding slowly through ice; captain, pilot and 2nd officer on bridge.  Vessel had stopped when current or tide rip carried iceberg against bow, cracking a plate”  “No assistance rendered until after vessel beached, then a fishing boat carried news to Juneau, and S S Georgia was dispatched to wreck for passengers and mail.. Puget Sound Salvage Company salved wreck with S S Santa Cruz”  “Practically no cargo.  Constructive total loss, but hulk floated and now moored at Victoria, B C., awaiting consideration of bids for repairs, which to date appear prohibitive.”

                The Yucatan had a value of $260,000 and was insured for $250,000.  There was no loss of life.  The vessel was salvaged, repaired and renamed the Shinkai Maru.  Evidence of this wreck may still be on site and of interest.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 11 30 N 135 59 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Tonnage 3,525 Gross 2,317 Net, Length 336.2, Breadth 43.2, Depth 22.3, HP 2,600, SL KHNF, Built 1890 at Chester PA, Registered Port Townsend WA, ON 27839, Master WPS Porter of Seattle, Owner Alaska Steamship Company of Seattle (purchased 1906)

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report August 18, 1910 at Seattle by R R Pierson, Supt. Alaska Steamship Company

 

YUKON (1893)     The steamer Yukon went ashore in a storm at Juneau and was lost November 6, 1893.  The vessel was valued at $1,500 with cargo at the time of the loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  58 18 15 N 134 24 30 W  Chart 17300

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

 

ZAPORA (1937)     The 479 ton 151 foot wooden steamer Zapora stranded and was lost off Chaik Bay at 2:35 a.m. Sunday February 14, 1937.  The vessel departed Hoonah the day before bound for Petersburg with 7 passengers and 20 crewmen aboard.  Her cargo is listed as 66,000 pounds of frozen fish and plunder valued at $6,000.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed by Eldred Hansen, master of the Zapora:

                “Rocky Point, south entrance to Chaik Bay, Chatham Strait, Southeastern Alaska”  “Force 8, E by S, snowing, rough easterly sea, dark”  “Lookout posted, fog signal sounded, vessel slowed down”  “Vessel going full astern when she grounded”  “Stranding”

                The Zapora had a value of $30,000 and was a complete loss.  A small amount of her cargo was salvaged.  No lives were lost in the disaster.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  57 19 N 134 35 W  Chart 17320

                Additional Information : Tonnage 479 Gross 395 Net, Length 151.3, Breadth 24, Depth 18.5, Built 1905 at Tacoma WA, SL WDDQ, Registered Juneau, ON 201817, Master Eldred Hansen of Puyallup WA, Owner Alaska Transportation Company of Tacoma WA

                Sources : 1. U S C G Report of Casualty March 8, 1937 at Ketchikan, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1935)

 

ZILLA MAY (1921)     The 70 ton 77 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Zilla May stranded and was lost near Strait Island at 10:15 p.m. Thursday March 31, 1921.  The vessel departed Ketchikan March 13, 1921 bound for deep sea fisheries with 13 crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report submitted by H Aarvold, master of the Zilla May:

                “Wind S by SE, not heavy.  Ocean swell running up Sumner Strait”  “Snow squall, low visibility, error estimate of distance to light”  “Stranding”  “SE point of Strait Island, Alaska”  “Remained on board as long as possible, left vessel in dory about 4 a.m., April 1st.  Vessel sunk about 20 minutes after crew left.  Crew spent Friday and Friday night, April 2nd on Strait Island.  Left at 10:30 a.m. for Wrangell in 3 dories, arriving at 8:30 p.m.”  “Total loss”

                The Zilla May had a value of $15,000.  She was loaded with 21,000 pounds of fresh halibut valued at $3,500.  Both the vessel and her cargo were lost.  There was no loss of life.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  56 23 10 N 133 42 30 W  Chart 17360

                Additional Information : Tonnage 70 Gross 56 Net, Length 77.3, Breadth 20.8, Depth 8.3, IHP 80, Built 1896 at Ballard WA, Registered Seattle WA, ON 28131, Owner Pacific Fishing & Trading Company of Seattle, Insurance unknown

                Sources : 1. U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty April 2, 1921 at Wrangell, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1920) Pg 350

 

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