Alaska Shipwrecks (Z)

ABBREVIATIONS:  AluminumALBritish ColumbiaBCCentralCFiberglassFRPFishing VesselFVIndicated Horse PowerIHPLongliner-LLMotor VesselMVNorthNOfficial NumberONRevenue Cutter ServiceRCSSchoonerSchSignal LettersSLSouth CentralSCSoutheastSESouthwestSWSteel oil screwSOSSteam ShipSSUnknownUUnited States ArmyUSAUnited States Coast GuardUSCGUnited States NavyUSNWestcentralWCWood gas screwWGSWood oil screwWOS

Z B 100F (1970)     The barge Z B 100F foundered while being towed by the tugs Mr Chuck and Arapahoe Scout in Bristol Bay.

Mapping and Location: South Central Alaska   57 N 162 W   Chart 16006

Source: BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011)


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.  Passengers and crew escaped to the beach in life boats and erected temporary shelter until rescued by the motorship Estebeth.

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), 3. Seattle Daily Times, (February 16, 1937) “Seattle Ship Sinks; 26 Safe”, Pg 20


ZENITH (1900)     The schooner Zenith stranded and was lost on Nome beach September 7, 1900.

Mapping and Location: West central Alaska   64 30 N 165 25 W   Chart 16006

Source: The Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914 “Vessels Lost in the Bering Sea Summer of 1900”

ZEPHYR (1978)     The fishing vessel Zephyr burned December 1, 1978 at Old Harbor.

Mapping and Location: South Central Alaska   57 12 15 N 153 18 W   Chart 16580

Source: BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011)


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

ZIMOVIA (2010)     The 44 foot Wrangell based power gurdy troller Zimovia ran up on Kulichkof Rock September 21, 2010 and sank an hour later. Sitka Mountain Rescue was able to save the only occupant of the vessel with the assistance of a M60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from U S Coast Guard Air Station Sitka. The survivor was taken Sitka Community Hospital and treated for cold weather exposure.

Mapping and Location: Southeast Alaska   56 59 30 N 135 26 30 W   Chart 17326

Additional Information: Tonnage 35 Gross 18 Net, Length 44.4, Built 1948 Tacoma WA, Previous Names Lynnie S, John Michael, Jimmy M, SL WB7344, ON 255936

Sources: 1. U S C G News Release (September 21, 2010), 2. U S C G Marine Information Exchange, 3. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1965) Pg 402


ZINGO (1954)     The 11 ton 35 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Zingo was consumed by fire July 31, 1954 at Kake.

Mapping and Location: Southeast Alaska   56 58 30 N 133 56 30 W   Chart 17360

Additional Information: Tonnage 11 Gross 9 Net, Length 35.1, Breadth 11.2, Depth 3.4, Built 1918 at Sitka, Horsepower 140, Owner Tommy T Jackson, Registered Wrangell, ON 216672

Sources: 1. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1955) Pg 568, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1956) “Vessels Reported Lost” Pg 745


ZOPILOTE (1994)     The 64 foot fiberglass recreational vessel Zopilote grounded and sank near Dall Island May 24, 1994. The vessel was northbound into Kaigani Strait when she ran up on a rock ledge. All five persons aboard abandoned ship to a skiff and were rescued by the fishing vessel Hydaburg. The Zopilote became a total loss.

Mapping and Location: Southeast Alaska   54 52 N 132 48 W   Chart 17400

Additional Information: Tonnage 116 Gross 101 Net, Length 63.8, ON 683964

Source: USCG MISLE Case # 62540

4 Replies to “Alaska Shipwrecks (Z)”

  1. Just offering some additional information on the Zenith, wrecked at Nome on September 7, 1900. According to The Coos Bay Times, published in Marshfield, Oregon, November 10, 1914, referring to John Anderson: “Captain Anderson lived in Curry County for a long time, and was also in Alaska. He built a boat named the Zenith and was a part owner. The Zenith was taken to Alaska and was wrecked there in 1900.” Anderson was Captain of the Randolph when, on November 7, 1914, he fell from the gangplank in Wedderburn, OR, hit his head, and died. His obituary says that “Captain John Anderson was about forty years old and has plied in and out of Coos Bay for many years on the smaller vessels. For a time he commanded the Enterprise. Later he built the Randolph and was one of the principal owners of the vessel. He has been shipwrecked a dozen times on the Rogue River bar, the Columbia bar and off the Umpqua and Siuslaw, but each time he escaped luckily, saving his boat.” Anderson had no children. He was an extremely distant relative of mine and I ran across this story and thought it might be of interest.

    1. Thank You for the information. I will add it to the Zenith file and follow up with some research. Dozens of vessels were lost in that storm the second week of September 1900 along with many lives. There was a schooner Zenith built at Bandon, Oregon in 1900 with a home port of Coos Bay. That must be the one. It was official number 28143, Length 54.6, breadth 15.2, depth 6.0. After 1905 the same schooner Zenith (ON 28143) changes its home port to Nome. This leads me to believe the vessel wrecked in the September 1900 storm was salvaged and put back into service. It was not uncommon for the vessels that were declared total losses by insurance underwriters to be purchased at auction and rebuilt.

    1. The U S Coast Guard Investigation Activity Report of May 24, 1994 mentioned that “The vessel was declared a constructive loss at $2,000,000.00 and its hulk was retrieved by commercial salvors and returned to Ketchikan. The vessel cannot be rebuilt.” That is the last entry in our files.

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