Northern Alaska Shipwrecks ( F )

FANNY (1871)     The 391 ton wooden bark Fanny was abandoned in the ice around Point Belcher September 14, 1871.  The Fanny was a whaling vessel out of New Bedford, Mass with a value of $58,000 at the time of the disaster.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   70 47 40 N 159 39 02 W   Chart 16003

Source: Harper’s Weekly (December 2, 1871) “Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet”

FLEETWING (1888)     The 114 foot wooden whaling bark Fleetwing went ashore on a reef one mile NE of Point Barrow August 3, 1888 and was lost.  The following are excerpts from the Wreck Report filed by Agents J & W R Wing in New Bedford, Mass.:

“Heavy gale of wind and heavy sea.  Night time and stormy”  “Parted chain cable and went ashore on a reef off Point Barrow, Arctic Ocean.  Second anchor not holding in time.”  “No assistance could be rendered at time vessel pounded until cable cut and went over bar.  And crew rescued after gale abated by balance of whaling fleet.  The vessel sunk and went to pieces.”

The Fleetwing was valued at $16,000 and the outfit for a whaling voyage she was carrying was valued at $16,000.  Both were total losses, but the crew of 37 was all rescued.  Insurance on the Fleetwing and her whaling outfit was $12,000.  Her last port was Honolulu, Sandwich Islands March 1888 bound for whaling in the Arctic.  The Fleetwing was caught on a lee shore and lost in a terrible gale that also wrecked the Jane Grey, Ion, Mary and Susan and Young Phoenix.  The shipwrecked crews were taken aboard the revenue cutter Bear.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 23 29 N 156 28 30 W   Chart 16004

Additional Information: Length 114.4, Breadth 28.5, Depth 17.2, Built 1877 at Port Jefferson New York, Tonnage 328, Registered New Bedford Mass, ON 120310, Master Charles F Gifford of New Bedford, Owner J & W R Wing Agents

Sources: 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed December 6, 1888 at New Bedford, 2. Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1895) Pg 361

FLORENCE (1878)     The 245 ton wooden bark Florence out of San Francisco was lost in the Arctic Ocean during the whaling season of 1878 near Point Barrow.  She was carrying $13,000 worth of whale oil at the time of the casualty.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 23 29 N 156 28 30 W   Chart 16004

Source: Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914

FLORIDA (1871)     The 470 ton wooden bark Florida of San Francisco was abandoned in the ice around Point Belcher September 14, 1871.  Captained by D R Frazer, the Florida was estimated to be worth $51,000 at the time of the disaster.  “After being abandoned, the Florida drifted ashore at Sea Horse Islands and was found the following year by Captain William H Kelley, who commanded the Gay Head at the time of the disaster in 1871, burned to the water’s edge.”

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   70 53 N 158 42 W   Chart 16003

Source: Harper’s Weekly (December 2, 1871) “Destruction of the Arctic Whaling Fleet”

FRED J WOOD (1923)     The 181 foot wooden schooner Fred J Wood was washed ashore in a storm and pounded to pieces September 27, 1923 less than two miles from the beach in Port Clarence Bay.  The 105 persons aboard had departed San Francisco on a gold hunting expedition in the spring of 1923.  They had little to show for their efforts when rescued by the steamer Buford.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   65 12 N 166 45 W   Chart 16006

Additional Information: Tonnage 681 Gross 601 Net, Length 181, Breadth 38.1, Depth 14, Built 1899 at Hoquiam WA, ON 121109, SL KPHL

Sources: 1. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1922) Pg 19, 2. Bellingham Herald (November 2, 1923) “Fred J Wood’s Skipper Tells of Loss of Ship” Pg 9

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