Northern Alaska Shipwrecks ( H )

HAE HAWAII (1868)     The 368 ton whaling bark Hae Hawaii drug anchor and went ashore in a gale September 22, 1868 in the Seahorse Islands.  The vessel departed Honolulu March 30, 1868 for whaling in the Arctic.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   70 53 N 158 42 W   Chart 16005

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

HAROLD J (1955)     The Kotzebue tug Harold J foundered and sank in a gale August 28, 1955 near Lopp Lagoon in the Bering Sea.  Captain Robert Gallahorn, Johnnie Johnson and William Henry, all of Kotzebue were lost.  Wreckage from the Harold J including her name plate, compass and pieces of superstructure were found near Lopp Lagoon 40 miles north of Shishmaref.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   65 45 N 167 45 W   Chart 16006

Sources: 1. BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011), 2. Fairbanks Daily News Miner (August 30, 1955) “Fear Three Died When Vessel Sank” Pg 1


HELEN JOHNSON (1910)     The 58 foot 39 ton wooden gas screw Helen Johnson was lost in the ice at 5 a.m. Friday July 29, 1910 seven miles east of Point Hope.  The crew of 10 was rescued at the scene of the wreck by the Revenue Cutter Bear and taken to Nome.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by part owner and master L L Lane of Seattle:

“7 miles East of Point Hope…Strong SE gale, foggy; gale continued for five days.” “Kept careful and constant watch, moving slowly and trying to get out of ice.”  “Surrounded with ice; foggy weather”  “After lying in the ice for 5 days the vessel was gradually ground to pieces.”  “Pounded to pieces by heavy ice”

The Helen Johnson was valued at $7,500 at the time of the casualty.  The crew was able to salvage the 50 horsepower engine which was valued at $2,500.  There was no cargo or insurance.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   68 20 20 N 166 50 40 W   Chart 16005

Comment: May be the same L L Lane who wrecks the Great Bear in 1916 at Saint Mathews Island. WG

Additional Information: Length 58, Breadth 15.6, Depth 6.1, Built 1909 at Tacoma, Service fish, Tonnage 39 Gross 27 Net, IHP 50, Registered Seattle, ON 206672, Owners LL Lane of Seattle and A D Sheldon of Seattle, Last Port Nome July 21st, Destination Point Hope

Source: U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Nome August 21, 1910 by Lane

HELEN MAR (1892)     The whaling bark Helen Mar was crushed between two icebergs in a swift current and lost along with 27 of her crew in the Chukchi Sea October 6, 1892 northwest of Point Barrow.  The 5th Mate William Ward, Boat steerer Antonio Pangalino, Cook Acey Kashaw, Sailor Penores and Sailor Katsura clung to the main mast as the Helen Mar sank and escaped onto the ice.  They were picked up two days later by the steam whaler Orca.  Two of the survivors were then taken to San Francisco aboard the Beluga.  Lost with the Helen Mar were:

  1. Captain O E Thaxter
  2. Chief Officer W E Handy
  3. 3rd Officer Jonquin Miner
  4. 4th Officer John O’Hara
  5. Boat steerer Antonio Lietz
  6. Boat steerer Louis Antone
  7. Boat steerer Frank Birch
  8. Boat steerer C Nelson
  9. Steward Willis Bray
  10. Cooper and Carpenter C Cook
  11. Sailmaker W A Jellison
  12. Seaman Walter E Mitchell
  13. Seaman Thomas Gordon
  14. Seaman William Cameron
  15. Seaman Charles Petrosch
  16. Seaman Oscar Kiff
  17. Seaman John Abott
  18. Seaman William Gardiner
  19. Seaman Robert Patterson
  20. Seaman Andrew Wilson
  21. Seaman George Father
  22. Seaman Frank Dobson
  23. Seaman Thomas Wallace
  24. Seaman Joseph Mirando
  25. Seaman Frank Wagner
  26. Seamen A Martinez
  27. Unknown crewman

The Helen Mar was built at New Bedford in 1855 and was 110 feet in length. She was valued at $20,000 and her cargo valued at $35,000 to $45,000.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 30 N 169 30 W   Chart 16003

Additional Information: ON 11926

Sources: 1. Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1895)(1961 reprint) Pg 406, 2. San Francisco Chronicle (November 7, 1892) “An Arctic Disaster” Pg 3, 3. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1892) Pg 139

HELEN SNOW (1872)     The 215 ton whaling bark Helen Snow was damaged by ice in the Arctic Ocean August 19, 1872, and abandoned.  The vessel had a home port of New Bedford, Mass.

“The Bark Helen Snow was afterwards found, crew put on board and vessel taken into San Francisco and sold to pay salvage; sailed one voyage from San Francisco, then transferred to Russian flag.”

Revenue Cutter Service file shows the tonnage of the Helen Snow at 299 and the vessel abandoned August 31, 1872 and then saved by a Captain Owen.

Mapping and Location: Northern Unknown Salvaged

Sources: 1. Alaska Packers Association Records (1982 Microfilm) “1741-1939 Shipwrecks”, 2. Alaska File Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914

HENRY KNEELAND (1864)     The 304 ton whaling ship Henry Kneeland was lost in the ice in the Chukchi Sea in July of 1864.  She departed New Bedford August 11, 1862 for whaling in the Arctic.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   Unknown

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

HENRY TABER (1871)     The 296 ton wooden bark Henry Taber was  abandoned in the ice around Point Belcher September 14, 1871.  The bark was in the whaling trade out of New Bedford, Mass. and valued at $52,000 at the time of the disaster.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   70 47 40 N 159 39 02 W   Chart 16005

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

HENRY THOMPSON (1851)     The 315 ton whaling ship Henry Thompson was lost in the ice near Diomede Island July 15, 1851.  She had left New London October 22, 1850 bound for whaling in the Arctic.  AT the time of the disaster the Henry Thompson was worth $30,000 with her cargo of whale oil and bone.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   65 47 N 169 W   Chart 16005

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

HIBERNIA (1870)     The 256 ton ship Hibernia was lost two miles SW of Point Barrow August 28, 1870.  Ice stove a hole in her bow and the vessel ran aground.  She was valued at $25,000 with cargo at the time of the loss.  She had departed New Bedford May 3, 1866 and had 500 barrels of whale oil and 5000 pounds of whale bone aboard.  The wreck was sold at auction for $150

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   71 23 29 N 156 28 30 W   Chart 16003

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

HIDALGO (1896)     The 101 foot 175 ton wooden brigantine Hidalgo was forced ashore by ice and broken up at 6 p.m. Sunday July 24, 1896 eight miles west of Cape Thompson.  The crew of 27 used every means at hand to prevent being forced onto the beach.  Master of the Hidalgo, C F Gifford of San Francisco stated in his wreck report:

“8 miles West of Cape Thompson, Arctic Ocean, Point Hope, Alaska, forced ashore by ice, and broke up by force of the sea when the ice washed away after pounding on the beach for 3 days.”  “U S R Cutter Bear arrived August 4 and took measures to take care of the crew till her return from Point Burrows, when she took the men and cargo saved to Unalaska, and from there sent to the U S.”

The Hidalgo was valued at $4,000 and had and $8,000 (100 ton) cargo of provisions, gear and whale bone aboard.  The Hidalgo and half of the cargo was lost with no insurance.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   68 08 40 N 165 58 40 W   Chart 16005

Additional Information: Length 101, Breadth 27, Depth 8.5, Built 1855 at East Machias ME, Tonnage 174.69 Gross 165.97 Net, Registered San Francisco, ON 11669, Owner Lewis W Williams of San Francisco, Last Port San Francisco April 9, 1896, Destination Arctic Ocean

Source: U S Customs Wreck Report filed in San Francisco November 10, 1896 by Gifford

HOQUA (1851)     The 339 ton ship Hoqua was wrecked near Cape Oliver in the Arctic Ocean July of 1851.  The vessel departed New Bedford September 8, 1849 on a whaling voyage and was valued at $40,000 with cargo.  The Hoqua had 2,700 barrels of whale oil aboard of which only 1,100 were saved.

Mapping and Location: Northern Alaska   Unknown

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *