Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1973

February 19, 1973     Three crewmembers were reported lost when an unnamed trawler sank in Blank Cove, eight miles southwest of Ketchikan.

March 27, 1973     The fishing vessel Double Knot disappeared with four crewmembers on board near Nuka Bay.  The cause and exact location of the disaster are unknown.

May 14, 1973     Two crewmembers were lost and the gillnetter Sonia Gail swamped and grounded at the mouth of the Tsivat River, 120 miles east of Cordova.  The vessel was found abandoned with the running lights still on.  An eight foot dingy and life jackets were found nearby.  The body of  Larry Hackman was found at Seal River a week later. His Wife Carolyn Vogt Hackman, the second crewmember, was never found.

May 26, 1973     An unnamed small pleasure craft was lost along with all six persons aboard May 26, 1973 in Two Arm Bay, 60 miles southwest of Seward.  The body of Floyd Harper was found a week later on Rabbit Island.  An empty life raft was located on Natoa Island.

June 22, 1973     The shrimp fishing vessel Pacific Pearl foundered in rough weather and heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska.  The vessel sank within five minutes.  Two of her crewmembers were rescued after seven hours in a life raft.  Two others were lost.

September 14, 1973     Two persons were lost when an unnamed small boat sank near the Beluga River in Cook Inlet.

October 1, 1973     The 160 foot freighter Growler capsized in rough seas during a savage winter storm in the Bering Strait 11 miles north of Wales.  The converted Navy patrol vessel and landing craft was hauling construction equipment between Nome, Kotzebue and Bethel.  All three crewmembers were lost including captain James Halliger of Seward, engineer Harry Germeau of Port Townsend WA and Ralph Geiger of Sequim WA.  An empty life raft washed ashore at Wales.

October 16, 1973     The 91 foot halibut and crab fishing vessel Dauntless left Ketchikan on October 16th bound for Kodiak and disappeared.  No trace was found of the 186 ton vessel or the four crewmembers on board.  Lost were skipper Arne Madsen, Trond Loken, John Qvilaug, and Kaare Leksas.

December 27, 1973     Three crewmembers from the oil tanker Chevron Mississippi were lost during a storm 390 miles southeast of Homer.  Captain C W Pemberton and chief mate George K Gann were washed overboard while attempting to tie down barrels in rough seas.  Mario Romersa was fatally injured on deck.

13 Replies to “Alaska Commercial Fishing and other Maritime Losses of 1973”

  1. I have an article about my Husband ,Jim Arness and our family survived the sinking of our Halibut boat MV Klipsun near Seward on July 24, 1973. Are you interested in this. I also can provide a couple more that I don’t think you have mentioned.

    Peggy Arness

  2. Hi,

    Would just like to correct my fathers name, he was one of the crew on the Dauntless. His name was Trond Løken, he also used the surname Lake.

    Yours sincerely
    Chinell Løken

  3. Hello:
    I would like you to note the correct spelling of my good friend’s name, KAARE LEKSAS. He was lost on the F/V Dauntless in 1973 in the Gulf of Alaska.
    Thank you for your hard work.

    Michael Rasmussen
    Kodiak, Alaska

    1. I have corrected the Recent Maritime Losses section for 1973 as well as the entry for the Dauntless in the A-Z section. I will endeavor to edit the next edition of my book ALASKA SHIPWRECKS: 1750-2010. Thank you for remembering and setting this right. I am sure there are family members and friends who will appreciate it. RIP KAARE.

    1. One of the many vessels that disappeared with no explanation. I am hopeful that this vessel and many others will be found using technology that has evolved in recent years. Sorry for the loss to your family.

  4. One correction…the Chief Mate on board the Chevron Mississippi on December 27, 1973, was GEORGE K. GANN, not EARNEST K. GANN. Thank you. Ernest (without the “A”) was George’s father.

  5. Hi and thanks for all you do. Please note that the May 16 1973 entry for the Sonia Gail notes the “body of one of the men” Larry Hackman was later found near the Seal River. The other lost crew member was his wife, 27 yo Carolyn Vogt Hackman, whose body was never recovered. She was my good friends aunt. Note that the date of loss the family has listed as May 14th, but I guess it’s possible that nobody knows the exact date. Grateful if you could correct the entry to list Carolyn.

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