South Central Alaska Shipwrecks ( C )

C G WHITE (1895)     As many as 11 men were lost on Wednesday, April 24, 1895 when the American schooner C G White ran ashore in the Trinity Island Reefs during a westerly gale and snowstorm.  The vessel had departed San Francisco February 28 on a seal hunting and fishing trip with Zart Isaackson of San Francisco as master and a crew of 28.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed July 24, 1895 by managing owner A P Lorentzen:

                “On SW end of Kodiak Island…ran ashore in a snowstorm.”  “Some of the crew were saved and cared for by natives, who afterwards took them to Wooded Island, where some died and others recovered.  Some lost limbs by frost bite.  All the officers were lost, either drowned or died on the beach from cold.  No papers saved, and no other particulars received except through newspapers.”

                The following is an accounting from Lewis and Dryden:

                “The same gale that sent the (Walter A) Earle on her last cruise ended the career of the old Columbia River pilot schooner C G White.”  “She was caught off the Alaska shore by the gale, which was accompanied by a blinding snowstorm, with the thermometer three degrees below zero.  Her sails were carried away, the fore topmast went by the board, and her rudder became disabled.  In this helpless condition she was carried before the wind, and just before morning struck a submerged reef and was soon smashed to pieces.  A line was made fast to shore, and twenty five of the crew reached land in safety, three losing their lives before the line was secured.   Eight of those who landed perished from starvation and exposure, and several of the others were so badly frozen as to render amputation of limbs necessary.  They were finally rescued by some Indians, and taken to Kodiak.  Capt Gus Isaacson was one of the eleven who perished.”

                In an article in the N Y Times from August 6, 1895: “When the wreck occurred, the first to get ashore were Bail, Marillo, Sweeney and Rogers who started for assistance to the nearest settlement, a place called Okyok, thirty-seven miles away, across a lagoon.  The snow was neck high.  Bail was the only one to reach the place, the others succumbing to their injuries and the intense cold”

                Some reports have the C G White engaged in illegal sea otter hunting and lost on April 13, 1895 NW of Cape Alitak.  The storm that caused the loss is referred to as “the great Easter gale of 1895”.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  56 50 N 154 10 W  Charts 16580, 16590

                Additional Information :  Tonnage 73.51 Net, Age 8 years, Built 1887 San Francisco, Length 81.5, Breadth 23, Depth 9.5, Registration San Francisco, ON 126439, Owner A P Lorentzen of Alameda, Vessel value $7,000, Cargo Value $5,000 outfit, Vessel Insurance $2,000, Cargo Insurance none

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed at San Francisco, 2. Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1961) Pg 452, 3. N Y Times August 6, 1895, 4. U S Revenue Cutter Service Files (1867-1914) Roll #4


C P #4 (1938)     A small motorcraft identified as C P #4 was lost at Kenai August 28, 1938.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 33 N 151 16 W  Chart 16662

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 466


CPPC #1 (1924)     The 22 ton wood scow CPPC #1 was lost at noon on Thursday September 4, 1921 at Point Gord.  She was loaded with 10 tons of salt, barrels and equipment bound for Horseshoe Bay having departed Red Fox Bay on September 3rd.  Her tow line parted in a storm that arose after the start of the voyage and she blew out to sea.  The CPPC #1 was valued at $1,000 as was her cargo.   

Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 12 N 150 57 30 W Chart 16640

                Comment : The Gord Point on the wreck report is probably Gore Point which lies on the route from Red Fox Bay on Afognak Island to Horseshoe Bay on Latouche Island in Prince William Sound. WG

                Additional Information : Built 1922, Registration Cordova, ON 168428, Master Albert Anderson of Seattle, Owner Canoe Pass Pkg. Co. of Seattle, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed by J S Jenson, Supt., on March 18, 1925 at Seattle


C STEWARD (1926)     The unmanned gas screw C Steward was at anchor at Chignik when it broke up and was abandoned April 1, 1926.  It was reported to have no value at the time of the loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  56 18 N 158 24 W  Chart 16566

                Additional Information : Tonnage 10 Gross 7 Net, Cargo none

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


CAMILLA A (1909)     The American wooden scow Camilla A foundered in heavy seas and became a total wreck at 9:00 p.m. on June 15, 1909 at Chignik Bay.  She was being captained by Adam Kerz of LaCrosse, Wisconsin with the help of one crewman.  The vessel left Cordova on June 11 bound for Saint Michael; no cargo.  The steamer St. Helens assisted in towing the Camilla A into a harbor.  The crew was unharmed.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  56 22 N 158 W  Chart 16566

                Additional Information : Tonnage 322.96, Built 1908 Seattle, Registration Seattle and Port Townsend, ON 163500, Owner Yukon Trans. & Trading Co., Vessel Value $7,000, Cargo none, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed July 1, 1909 by Kerz


CAPT WORDEN (1928)     Several days after returning from Bethel, The Capt. Worden drug anchor during the night and broke up on the beach at Dillingham.  William Johnson, master of the vessel, gave the following information in his wreck report filed at Seward on April 4, 1929:

                “Departed Bethel, Alaska, Nov. 15, 1928 bound for Dillingham.”  “Returned from Bethel, anchored off shore for several days, wind arose in night and drug anchor and boat on shore, there she was discovered broken in the morning.  There could be no efforts made to save her.”

                The night was dark and the wind was reported to be blowing 40 northeasterly.  The Capt. Worden was valued at $1,400 at the time of the loss and had no cargo.

            Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 02 30 N 158 27 30 W  Charts 16011, 16322

                Additional Information : Tonnage 12 Gross 8 Net, Age 28 years, Registered at Nome, ON 200511, Owner D J Horgan of Nome, Crew two

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


CATHERINE (1917)     The steamer Catherine was reported lost at Ugashik in 1917.

                Mapping and Location :  Southcentral Alaska  57 30 45 N 157 23 45 W  Chart 16011

                Comment : See Saint Katherine, may be same wreck.

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 258


CHARLES E MOODY (1920)     The 2003 ton wood ship Charles E Moody caught fire late in the evening June 28, 1920 at Bristol Bay Naknek Roadstead.  She had sailed from Seattle April 20th with a cannery crew of 136 fishermen and a mate, a cargo of cannery supplies, fishing boats and 200 tons of coal.  She had arrived at Naknek the first week of June and all passengers debarked. The mate was alone on board the night of June 28 and had put out the anchor light around 9:00 p.m.  Hours later he was hailed by a fisherman as the vessel was ablaze forward.  He was taken off the Charles E Moody leaving his possessions behind.  The Alaska Packers tug Kayjak and steamer Shelikof responded and pumped hoses with full force for 40 minutes but were driven off by the flames.  The vessel was totally destroyed by the blaze.

                Mapping and Location :  Southcentral Alaska  58 43 40 N 157 00 45 W  Chart 16011

                Additional Information : Tonnage 2003 Gross 1734 Net, Length 233.9, Breadth 43.4, Depth 18.2, Built 1882 at Bath Me. by Goss&Sawyer, Registration Port Townsend and Seattle, ON 126070, Master Mark Haskell of Seattle, Owner Northwestern Fisheries of Seattle, Vessel Value $320,000, Vessel Insurance $80,000, Cargo Value $4,000, Cargo Insurance $3,400

                Sources : U S Coast Guard Wreck Reports filed at Seattle, San Francisco and Ketchikan


CHASE (1930)     The 11 gross ton wood gas screw Chase left Kodiak on September 7, 1930 bound for Seward with a load of three tons of canned clams and coal.  Neither the Chase nor her owner, captain and sole occupant, Charles Enswiler, were ever seen again.  It was several weeks before the loss was realized.  A search of the shoreline and seas between Kodiak and Seward was unsuccessful in locating any sign of the tragedy.   It is supposed that the vessel foundered.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  67 48 N 152 15 W  Chart 16606

                Comment : I have mapped this wreck in the Barren Islands for lack of a better place.  The waters in that area are some of the most treacherous between Kodiak and Seward for a vessel that size.

                Additional Information : Tonnage 11 Gross 7 Net, Age 10 Years, Registered at Seward, ON 224601, Vessel Value $2,000, Cargo Value $500, Insurance none

                Source : U S Coast Guard Casualty Report filed at Seward by business associate and part owner of lost cargo Mrs Josie Sandavik on October 29, 1931.


CHIGNIK #1 (1908)     The 70 ton wooden scow Chignik No.1 of Port Townsend Washington foundered and was lost at Cape Cleare off the south end of Montague Island on April 28, 1908.  She had been built at Port Blakely, Washington earlier that year.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 45 N 148 54 W  Chart 16701

                Source : Alaska file of the U S Revenue Cutter Service Microcopy 641 1867-1914 (1966)


CLARA (1936)     Escaping gas caused an explosion aboard the wooden gas screw Clara Wednesday December 16, 1936 at winter dry dock on the beach in Monti Bay at Yakutat.  Owner/operator Walter Thayer valued the Clara at $500 with no insurance in the wreck report he filed at Yakutat January 22, 1937.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 34 N 139 50 W  Chart 16761

                Additional Information : Tonnage 12 Gross 10 Net, Built 1918, Registered Juneau, ON 216248

                Sources : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty Collection District 31 Yakutat January 22, 1937


COLUMBIA (1909)     The American wood square rigged ship Columbia stranded near Seal Cape Unimak Island at 12:30 a.m. April 30, 1909.  The 1327 ton 206 foot vessel left San Francisco April 8 bound for Bristol Bay with 170 passengers, 24 crew and a load of $60,000 worth of cannery supplies.  J H Cameron, Master of the Columbia reported a heavy swell, no wind (she was under sail), and a snow storm caused the vessel to drift ashore in the dark.  Two anchors were set out but didn’t help.  The $18,000 vessel and her cargo were lost, but all those aboard were able to get to safety.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  54 23 30 N 164 38 30 W  Chart 16520

                Additional Information : Length 205.9, Breadth 40, Depth 24, Tonnage 1327, Built 1871 Bath Maine, Registered San Francisco, Owner Henry Nelson of San Francisco

                Source : Wreck Report filed by Cameron June 7, 1909


COMPEER (1912)     The 347 ton three-masted schooner Compeer wrecked at Cape Chichagof near Egegik in Bristol Bay on July 17, 1912. Built at Fairhaven, California in 1877, the Compeer was valued at $25,000 with cargo.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  58 20 N 157 32 W  Chart 16323

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 211


CONSTANCE (1919)     The 78 ton gas screw fishing vessel Constance stranded and was lost twenty five miles east of Cape Suckling Saturday August 23, 1919 at 2:40 a.m.  The crew of fifteen made it to the beach safely and was picked up by the schooner Northland.  The burden of 26,000 pounds of halibut and easterly tide currents running into shore helped cause the casualty.  The Constance was valued at the time of the wreck at $16,000 and her cargo of fish $4,000 both total losses.  The vessel was insured for only $10,000 and there was no cargo insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 59 30 N 143 30 W  Chart 16013

                Additional Information : Tonnage 78 Gross 53 Net, Age 6 years, Registered Seattle, ON 211877, Owner Hilde Averson & Averson of Seattle, Master M Hilde, Last Port Ketchikan August 16, 1919 for sea fisheries

                Source : U S Coast Guard Report of Casualty filed October 11, 1919 by Hilde at Ketchikan


COREA (1890)     The 133 foot wooden bark Corea stranded at three in the morning Wednesday April 23, 1890 in thick weather, and was subsequently lost.  H H Wheeler of San Francisco was Master of the vessel at the time.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report:

                “Heavy breeze, thick weather, strong tide, smooth sea, cloudy, and dark night.”

                “Lookout forward and captain and 2nd mate on deck” 

                Stranded…sand bar six miles south of Kalgin Island.”

                “Got her off the reef and found the vessel was filling, so ran her 25 miles in sinking condition to East shore of Cook Inlet and beached her.”

                There were 97 passengers and 19 crew aboard the Corea at the time of the casualty, all of whom were saved.  The $45,000 cargo of 500 tons of cannery materials and merchandise was 80 percent lost.  The Corea, valued at $15,000 is listed as a total loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 28 N 151 55 W  Chart 16662

                Additional Information : Tonnage 564.62, Length 133.4, Breadth 31.5, Depth 18, Built 1868 at Boston Mass, Registered San Francisco, ON 5448, Owner Arctic Fishing Co of San Francisco, Last Port San Francisco March 27, 1890, Vessel Insurance $12,500, Cargo Insurance $41,600

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed June 3, 1890 by F P Kendall Mgr/Owner Arctic Fishing


CORSAIR (1912)     The 15.74 ton wood steamer Corsair stranded at Point Martin near Katalla at 2:00 a.m. October 29, 1912 carrying 14 tons of general ware cargo.  She soon caught fire and was destroyed.  Of the two aboard, only her master Peter Dahl of Katalla survived.  Engineer Albert Ness was lost.  Conditions at the time of the casualty were high seas and 70 to 80 mile an hour winds.  The Corsair is reported to have been “engaged in lengthening off steam”.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  60 10 N 144 36 W  Chart 16723

                Additional Information : Tonnage 15.74, Age six years, Registered Cordova, ON 203585, Owner Charles Auer of Katalla, Vessel Value $5,000, Cargo Value $3,000, Vessel Insurance none, Cargo Insurance unknown

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed December 14, 1912 by C Auer managing owner

                Comment : Wreck Report dated 1912 at top and 1902 at bottom


COURTNEY FORD (1902)     The 146 foot three masted wood schooner (originally a brigantine) Courtney Ford stranded and was lost at 8:15 p.m. September 7, 1902 at Glen Island.  The vessel had departed St Michael September 2nd and was bound for Port Townsend, Washington and San Francisco.  The Courtney Ford was in ballast with no cargo and had eight crew and one “workaway” on board.  Three crew were lost; 1st mate C N Sanderson (47) from Sweden, Walter Olson (22) from Denmark and Seaman C Carlson (37) from Denmark.  The following statements were taken from the wreck report filed by her captain, M E Burgeson, on October 28, 1902:

                “Dark cloudy night; strong wind and squally breeze from west.”  “Saw breakers ahead; went to wear ship; just then vessel struck.”

                The wreck is reported to have been caused by “Iron about the compass”. Other reports mention that Amak Island was mistaken for Akun Island while the crew was dead reckoning in the fog because of the faulty compass.

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 18 N 162 55 W Chart 16006

                Comment : Glen Island is the southernmost of the Kudiakof Group near the SW end of the Alaska Peninsula NE of Unimak Island

                Additional Information : Tonnage 401.11 Gross 381.06 Net, Length 146.3, Breadth 34.2, Depth 12.5, Built 1883 at Benicia California, Registered San Francisco, ON 126173, Owner Pacific Shipping Co of San Francisco, Vessel Value $19,000, Vessel Cargo 25 ton of ballast, Vessel Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at San Francisco


CRYSTAL (1895)     The 33 ton 49 foot wood schooner Crystal was lost Friday September 27, 1895 at 11:15 p.m. in Yakutat Bay.  The 7 passengers and 4 crew made it to safety but the Crystal and her ten ton cargo of codfish was lost.  The following is an accounting of the wreck by her master N Lawson of Tacoma and others:

                “We, the undersigned, crew and passengers of the schooner Crystal, of Tacoma, 32.52 tons, N Lawson, Master, bound to Tacoma from Kodiak, affirm that on the afternoon of September 27th, 1895, we lay at anchor off Kantaag Island, Yakutat Bay.  At about 6 p.m. a gale sprung up from the southeast, causing us to drag our anchors into deep water, and losing our port anchor, we were compelled to heave up starboard anchor, make sail, and stand up Yakutat Bay on the starboard tack.  11:15 p.m. the weather being very thick, we went ashore on the east shore of Yakutat Bay, about 16 miles north of Yakutat, not being able to see the land until the vessel struck.  The lead was kep going constantly, but the depth of water varied from six fathoms to no bottom at twenty fathoms.  The tide was half ebb and all hands were landed in the boats.  At low tide the ship was nearly high and dry, and all effects of both the passengers and crew were saved.”

                 “The vessel was badly stove in and the wreck was sold to James W Johnson of Yakutat and T V Smith of Seattle.  No insurance.”

                “On October 5, 1895, the crew and passengers were transported to Yakutat by the schooner yacht Dauntless, of Everett, Geo E Montandon, master, to await transportation to Sitka. “

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  59 48 N 139 37 W  Chart 16761

                Additional Information : Length 48.6, Breadth 15.2, Depth 6.8, Tonnage 32.52, Built 1895 in Tacoma, Registered Tacoma, ON 127073, Master/Owner N Lawson of Tacoma, Last Port Kodiak August 25th, Bound for Tacoma, Vessel Value $2,500, Cargo Value $500, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed October 22, 1895


CZARINA (1911)     The 116 foot wood schooner Czarina stranded in a gale in the E side of Nagai Island and was lost at 10:00 p.m. February 15, 1911. The vessel had a crew of ten aboard all who survived the casualty.  The Czarina, valued at $10,000 and her 300 ton cargo of salt and provisions worth $8,000 were lost.  Captain William Wallstedt of Oakland California stated that he was seeking shelter from the weather.

                “Attempted to steer behind point for shelter; struck on reef shown in chart as being on other side of the bight in which stranding occurred.”  “Gale; sudden change of wind driving vessel on lee shore; chart faulty; night. Alternately clear and snow squalls.”

                “Bottom went out of vessel but top held together; stuck in rocks of the reef; next day when weather moderated made the shore in dories.”

                Mapping and Location : Southcentral Alaska  55 05 N 160 W Chart 16540

                Additional Information : Length 116, Breadth 30.6, Depth 10.6, Tonnage 230 Gross 218 Net, Built 1891 Fairhaven California, Registration San Francisco, ON 126818, Owner Union Fish Co of San Francisco, Last Port San Francisco Jan 25, 1911, Destination Pirate Cove, Vessel Insurance $6500, Cargo Insurance $7000

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at San Francisco March 22, 1911



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

  1. My grandfather sailed on this ship in 1901-1902 when he was about 12. His father was a lawyer for the Alaska Packing Co. and thought a stretch of real work would be good for him. He never lost his love for these old sailing vessels and recreated them in beautifully crafted models. I have one which is in need of restoration of the rigging which time has not been kind to. I also have a diary which he kept while aboard the Czarina.

    1. What treasures you have. I would love to read the dairy. I think your Grandfather may have been aboard when the Czarina ran up on the rocks in the Pribilof Islands January 18, 1902 and did a great deal of damage to her hull. That is not a place where many survive stranding that time of year. I was a crabber in the Bering Sea during the 1970’s and 1980’s and know how bone chilling the weather there is. What size is the model?

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