South Central Alaska Shipwrecks ( B )

B.M.CO NO.2 (1937)     The 321 ton wood barge B.M. Co. No. 2 was lost with almost all of her 20 tons of cargo on June 1, 1937 when she broke loose and stranded on Hinchinbrook Island, 30 miles east of Cape Hinchinbrook,  in a heavy gale.  She was being towed from Anacortes, Washington to Alitak, on the south end of Kodiak Island, with a load of fishing gear, lumber and oils valued at $6,500.  Captain Parker of the Shively Tug Boat Company of Seattle was at the helm of the Georgia which was towing the B. M. Co. No. 2 when her tow line broke in a 75 mile an hour gale.  The barge, valued at $10,000, was a total loss but some of the cargo was salvaged.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 14 N 146 39 W

                Additional Information : Vessel Insurance $5,000, Cargo Insurance 5,668, ON 227414, Owner Suryans Inc. Anacortes, Washington.

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 458.


BALCLUTHA (1904)     According to a wreck report filed May, 25, 1904; the 1554 ton American ship Balclutha struck a reef in the Geese Island Strait at 12:00 p.m. on May 16, 1904 and became a total wreck.  She had departed San Francisco the 27th of April with 80 fishermen, 20 crewmen and a cargo of cannery supplies, sheep and cattle bound for the fishing port of Karluk, Alaska.  The report, signed by her master, B Bremar of San Francisco, mentions the cause of the casualty as “unfamiliar waters, struck reef…foggy and misty, dark….heavy sea running.” “When vessel struck bracing all yards aback to back her off, but in vain.”  The vessel was abandoned with no loss to crew or passengers.

                Further research reveals that the wreck was acquired by Alaska Packers Association who successfully floated and towed her to Lazy Bay.  The Balclutha was then patched and returned to San Francisco where $30,249 was spent in repairing the damage to her hull.  She was renamed Star of Alaska and returned to duty in the north.

                Mapping and Location : Salvaged

                Additional Information : Age 18 years, Registered Port Gamble Washington, Owners Pope and Talbot of San Francisco, Signal letters KQTL, Length 256.3, Breadth 38.5, Depth 17.5, Built 1886 Glasgow Scotland.

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report of May 25, 1904, 2. Salmon From Kodiak (1986)Pg 210, 3. Safeguard the Gateways of Alaska (1918) (Map), 4. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 423.


BDL (1920)     The gas screw BDL is reported to have been lost sometime in 1920 at Strawberry Bay near Katalla.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 10 N 144 23 W

                Comments : There is a Strawberry Harbor or Cove five miles southeast of Katalla

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 313


BERG NO. 1 (1925)     The barge Berg No. 1 was wrecked at Cape Saint Elias in 1925 and became a total loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 54 N 144 36 W

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 368


BERLIN (1922)     The wood bark Berlin of 1416 net tons stranded at Egegik Flats southwest of Naknek at 3:00 p.m. on April 17, 1922 and became a total loss.  The 225 persons aboard were all removed to safety.  There were about 1400 tons of general cannery supplies aboard valued at $111,000, 75% of which were also lost.  The vessel being “out of position” is listed as the cause.  The steamers Nushagak and San Juan assisted in removing all those aboard.  The steamer Akutan put a tow line on the Berlin but was unable to move the vessel. 

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  58 13 N 157 31 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 1634 Gross 1416 Net, Age 40 years, Registered Portland Oregon, ON 3223, Master E. Wendt of Portland, Owner F M Warren President of Portland Oregon, Destination Naknek, Vessel Value $25,000, Vessel Insurance $25,000, Cargo Insurance $111,000, Weather light wind

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed by agent P A Daly Supt.,  June 17, 1922 at Collection District No 29, Port of Portland, Oregon, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 330


BERTHA (1915)     The American steam ship Bertha stranded on a spit at the southern point of Harvester Island at 10 p.m. on July 18, 1915.  On July 30th, still ashore, the vessel caught fire and was completely destroyed.  The crew of 23, captained by Charles Glasscock of Tacoma, Washington, escaped.  The 926 ton Bertha, valued at $40,000, and her 1031.4 ton cargo of lumber and building materials for a Bristol Bay cannery, valued at $11,500 were totally lost.  The cause of the fire was believed to be the ignition of lime in the cargo hold.  Cannery tugs from Uyak Cannery rendered what assistance they could.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  57 39 N 154 W

                Additional Information : Construction wood, Age 16 years, Registered at Tacoma Washington, ON 3786, Owner Alaska Coast Company of Tacoma, Vessel Insurance $32,493.50, Cargo Insurance none

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed by company secretary E B Rogers of Pacific Wasla Navigation Co. at Tacoma Washington, Collection District No 30, Port of Seattle on September 8, 1915, 2. Safeguard the Gateways of Alaska (1918) map, 3. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 258


BIDARKAS (60) (1799)     One of the worst disasters in Alaskan waters occurred in 1799 when sixty bidarkas were caught in a sudden storm off of Cape Hinchinbrook and 200 men were lost.

                Mapping and location : Southcentral Alaska  60 20 N 146 50 W

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


BLAZER (1923)     The American gas screw Blazer drifted onto the beach and broke up at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 1923 four miles southwest of Kanatak near Portage Bay on the Alaska Peninsula.  The Blazer and a crew of three left Kodiak on March 6th bound for Kanatak and encountered bad weather near their destination.  A heavy southwest gale sporting winds reported at eighty to ninety miles an hour managed to wash a coil of tow line off of the deck which found its way to the propeller.  The crew attempted to clear the line from the prop but were unable and the “vessel drifted in on beach and broke up.”  The crew survived the wreck.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  57 34 05 N 156 02 15 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 48 Gross 39 Net, Built 1920, Age 2 years 8 months, Registered Seattle, ON 320452, Master T S Haynes of Aberdeen Washington, Owner C O Swanson of Aberdeen Washington, Vessel Value $11,500, Vessel Insurance $8,500, Cargo none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Seward March 28, 1923 by T S Haynes


BLUE FOX (1937)     The American oil screw Blue Fox stranded on the beach during a thick snowstorm on Monday, December 13, 1937 at 5:00 in the morning.  She had left Pauloff Harbor on Sanak Island the day before bound for Sand Point with a crew of four, captained by owner Ralph Grosvold of Sand Point.  The following is an accounting by Grosvold from the wreck report he filed February 12, 1938:

                “Strong N.W. wind, Snow thick, Heavy S.W swell, Dark.  Flood Tide.”  “After striking the ship filled within a few minutes with seas breaking over her.  Had great difficulty in launching dory and leaving vessel, saving nothing of any personal belongings until two days later.  On the evening of the 17th with a gale of SE the vessel was mashed to bits.  I was relieved at the wheel by the engineer an hour before the striking, who did not steer course set by me causing wreck.” 

Grosvold estimated the value of the Blue Fox at $12,000 and had no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 28 N 160 51 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 56.47 Gross 38 Net, Built 1930, Registration Seward, ON 229852

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Sand Point February 12, 1938


BOHEMIA NO. 1 (1905)     The lighter Bohemia No. 1 was lost at Naknek in 1905.  The value with cargo at the time was reported at $10,500.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  58 43 40 N 157 00 45 W

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


BOL (1930)     The wooden gas screw Bol ran up on Strawberry Bar at dusk on September 8, 1930 and became a total loss.  Ole Peterson, master of the vessel, and his one crewman made it to shore in a skiff.  A strong breeze and heavy ground swell thwarted their effort to get the Bol off of the sand bar.  They were on a trip from Cordova to the Bering River when the casualty took place.  Estimated value of the vessel was $6,500 with no cargo on board.  Peterson reported that he misjudged the channel crossing the bar.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 24 N 146 03 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 25 Gross 17 Net, Age 16 years, Registered Seattle and Seward, ON 212204, Owner Shepard Point Packing of Seattle, Last Port Cordova September 8, 1930

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


BONITA (1937)     It was early in the morning on Sunday August 8, 1937 when an explosion rocked the gas powered fishing vessel Bonita while she was being unloaded at the dock at Chignik.  The following is from the wreck report filed by her captain F R Deveau:

                “On the morning of August 8, 1937, at Chignik, Alaska, while unloading fish for the Alaska Packers Association Company, an explosion took place in the engine room, causing fire of such proportions that we were unable to bring it under control, which caused the vessel to sink about three miles off shore in Chignik Bay about 8:00 A.M. the same day.”

                Cannery personel helped tow the vessel away from the dock and furnished medical aid to one of the Bonita’s crew that was injured.  The Bonita was valued at $5,000 at the time of the accident.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  56 18 N 158 24 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 27 Gross 19 Net, Built 1906, Construction wood, Registered Seward, ON 203405, F R Deveau Sr of Seattle, Crew of 5, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Seward October 8, 1937


BOUSSOLE (yawl) (1786)     The French explorer LaPerouse led a scientific expedition of the two frigates, Boussole and Astrolabe, and lost a small yawl at the mouth of Lituya Bay July 11, 1786.  The vessels had departed Brest, France August 1, 1785 on a scientific circumnavigation of the globe.  11 men perished in the accident. 

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  58 36 45 N 137 39 30 W

                Source : 1. Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea (1856)


BUFFALO (1918)     It was a very foggy thick dark night May 4, 1918 when George Hogg of Seward, owner operator of the gas powered sloop Buffalo, struck a reef just north of Cape Resurrection and stranded.  Hogg was the only one aboard the vessel having left LaTouch earlier that day laden with about $400 worth of salt fish and barrels.  He managed to float the Buffalo off of the reef and beach her in shallow water.  The vessel, valued at $2,500 to $3,000 became a total loss because of heavy swells, but the engine was saved.  Hogg filed a wreck report at Seward June 28, 1918.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 52 N 149 17 W  Chart 16682

                Additional Information : Tonnage 14 Gross 12 Net, Construction wood, Age 7 years 9 months, Registered at Juneau, ON 207949, Last Port LaTouch May 4, Destination Seward

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


BYDARKY (1916)     The coal barge Bydarky was blown ashore in a storm while anchored at Bluff Point Coal Mine in Cook Inlet at 2:00 p.m. on September 4, 1916.  The barge, valued at $2,500 and her 90 ton partial load of coal valued at $750 were lost when both anchors drug free and the Bydarky stranded a mile in from her anchorage.  Built as a gas boat in 1910, the vessel was converted to a coal barge in 1914 with her engine taken out and house torn down.  The wreck report was filed by her owner I A Herbert of Seldovia.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 40 N 151 41 W  Chart 16645

                Additional Information : Tonnage 53 Gross 36 Net, Built 1910, Registered at Juneau, ON 207690, Master George Rose, Towed by SS Tyonic

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


2 Replies to “South Central Alaska Shipwrecks ( B )”

Leave a Reply

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