South East Alaska Shipwrecks ( B )

BARBARA (1925)     The wood gas boat Barbara drifted onto the rocks at 8:15 a.m. on May 29, 1925 when the engine failed, and was lost.  Her four crew survived.  A wreck report was filed by the superintendent of the Hunters Bay Cannery on June 10th with the following details:

                “Barbara left Hydaburg bound for Hunters Bay Cannery 3:55 a.m. Friday May 29, 1929.  5:00 a.m. passed Eik Point, Course East by South, Distance by log 6 ½ miles.  5:45 a.m. engine stopped. 6:05 a.m. engine started again.  6:20 a.m. passes Mellen Rock, Course South East by East, Distance by log 6 ½ miles.  6:55 a.m. passed Point Webster South East ½ South, Distance by log 3 miles.  8:00 a.m. abreast Shipwreck Point, Course South East, Distance by log 6 miles.  8:15 a.m. engine stopped on account of feed pipes plugged and circulating pump out of order.  8:30 a.m. Barbara drifted on rock off Shipwreck Point.  Crew jumped on rock and were picked up by G. B. Carmen at 7:10 p.m. and taken to Hunters Bay Cannery, arriving at Hunters Bay at 8:05 p.m.”

                An anchor was put out to try to hold the Barbara but the strong breeze piled them onto the rocks before the anchor could take hold.  The crew stayed perched on the rocks all day until seen by the Mail Boat Carmen and rescued. The vessel, valued at $7,000, was deemed a total loss including fuel and stores.

                Mapping and Location : Southeast Alaska  54 53 53 N 132 29 30 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 26 Gross 29 Net, Built 1916, Registered Ketchikan, ON 208434, Master Jim Lou of Hunters Bay Cannery, Owner Northwestern Fisheries Company of Seattle, Cargo none.

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


BARNES (1918)     It was 5:30 p.m. on Friday June 21, 1918 when the gas screw Barnes caught fire and was lost off Tolstoi Point in Clarence Strait.  In the wreck report filed by her master, M L Burke of Lake Bay, the fire started in the hot box and quickly spread throughout the wooden vessel.  One pyrene and two powder fire extinguishers were expended on the flames in an effort to quench the blaze but to no avail.  The crew of four abandoned the Barnes in search of aid but when they returned aboard the gas screw Irene Barnes their vessel had disappeared.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 40 10 N 132 23 10 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 41 Gross 27 Net, Built 1917 Tacoma, Registered Portland Oregon, ON 214900, Owner F C Barnes Co Inc of Portland, Last Port Lake Bay June 21, 1918, Destination Ketchikan, Vessel Value $20,000, Cargo none, Insurance none

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Wrangell June 24, 1918, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 302


BEAVER (1935)     The American oil screw Beaver foundered at 7:30 a.m. Sunday October 27, 1935.  She was on a fishing trip out of Port McArthur mastered by Einer Hauneg of Port Alexander assisted by one crewman.  They had brought 1600 pounds of fresh caught salmon onboard valued at $287 when the Beaver sprung a leak and filled with water.  The vessel, valued at $4,000, foundered one and a half miles south of Point Crowley and became a total loss.  There was a 35 mile an hour northwest wind blowing and the Beaver went down rapidly, the crew narrowly escaping with their lives.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  56 07 10 N 134 15 30 W

                Additional Information : Construction wood, Tonnage 18 Net, Age 32 years, Registration Ketchikan, ON 3965, Owner P A Hauneg of Port Alexander

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Collection District 31, Port of Ketchikan dated November 15, 1935


BELLE (1930)     Otto Rosenblad of Ketchikan was alone aboard the gas screw Belle, December 8, 1930, when an engine malfunction caused her to sink.  He had delivered a load of lumber to Ice House Cove and was on a return trip to Ketchikan.  At 6 or 7 in the evening the vessel was abreast of Spire Island between Mountain Point and Bold Island.  The following is an excerpt from a wreck report filed by Rosenblad: 

                “I heard a heavy noise in the engine.  I looked down at once just in time to see the fly wheel come off and crash through the starboard side of the boat, causing a big hole below the water line.  I had no time to save any of my personal effects.  I dumped the skiff into the water and got away.  I rowed into Ketchikan, a distance of about eight miles and arrived about eleven o’clock P.M.”

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 16 10 N 131 30 W

                Comment: This vessel may have been named the Bell E.

                Additional Information : Construction wood, Tonnage 8 Gross 7 Net, Built 1904, Registration Ketchikan, ON 201507, Owner Mrs Mary A Charles of Ketchikan, Vessel value $2,000, Cargo none, Insurance $1,500

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Ketchikan December 10, 1930


BERING SEA (1933)     The American gas screw Bering Sea drug anchor and became a total loss at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday February 2, 1933 three miles south of Chomley Sound on Prince of Wales Island.  The two aboard including her master, Richard Thompson of Ketchikan, barely survived the incident, but the Bering Sea, valued at $9,750 was lost.  The following are quotes from the wreck report filed by Thompson:

                “Blowing strong southeaster which increased in force to a gale.”  “Anchor cable parted while repairing engine allowing vessel to drift on beach.”  “Engineer and myself took to skiff when about 50 feet off shore.  Skiff swamped and we were washed onto rocks.”

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska 55 17 N 132 04 W

                Comment : Now called Cholmondeley Sound. WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 44 Net, Age 16 years, Registration Seattle, ON 215039, Owner Skowl Arm Packing Company, Last Port Ketchikan, Destination Skowl Arm via Ingram Bay, Cargo none, Vessel Insurance $5,000

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Collection District No 31, Port of Ketchikan on February 6, 1933, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 425


BESSIE (1926)     It was 11:30 in the morning on Sunday October 24, 1926 when the engine aboard the gas screw Bessie backfired catching the vessel on fire.  There was a strong southeaster blowing and seas were rough three quarters of a mile off of Wards Cove Cannery where the incident occurred.  The crew endeavored to quench the fire with Pyrene extinguishers without result. The Bessie burned to water’s edge and drifted ashore near Wacker City.  The crew of two escaped but the vessel, valued at $7,000 became a total loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 24 30 N 131 43 30

                Additional Information : Tonnage 8, Age built 1916 rebuilt 1926, Registered at Ketchikan, ON 222297, Master George Baggin of Ketchikan, Owner Charles Snipes of Ketchikan, Vessel Insurance $5,000, Cargo none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed by Charles Snipes at Ketchikan on October 26, 1926


BESSIE M (1935)     The wood hulled gas screw Bessie M caught fire Tuesday July 18, 1935 at 1:30 p.m. while at the float dock at Excursion Inlet.  No one was on board at the time.   The vessel was towed away from the dock and a hole was chopped in her side subsequently sinking the Bessie M and “checking the flames”.  Because of the sinking, her engine and the lower part of the hull were saved.  The cause of the blaze has been attributed to “gas fumes”.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  58 25 N 135 26 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 13 Gross 10 Net, Built 1920, Registration Juneau, ON 220280, Master Shorty Wilson, Owner Astoria & Puget Sound Canning Co. of Bellingham Washington, Vessel Value $1,000, Cargo none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed September 27, 1935 by cannery superintendant


BILLY (1902)     The wood scow Billy drug anchor in a 40 mile an hour storm about midnight on August 13, 1902 and piled up on the rocks becoming a total loss.  The vessel had been left at anchor the day before, three miles north of Point Alava at the southern tip of Revillagigedo Island for fishermen to load salmon into.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 11 30 N 131 11 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 16, Built 1901 at Ballard Washington, Registered Ketchikan, ON 31692, Master J D Stedman, Owner Fidalgo Island Packing Co of Anacortes Washington, Vessel Value $600, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed by J D Stedman on August 16, 1902


BLUE BIRD (1935)     The gas screw Blue Bird, owned and operated by Joe Barnes of Ketchikan, caught fire and was lost on Wednesday August 21, 1935 at 5:00 p.m. in Cholmondeley Sound.  The crew of four escaped but the Blue Bird, valued at $2,000 was a total loss.  The report filed by Barnes lists a flooded gas tank as the cause of the blaze.  The diesel screw Atlas offered what assistance they could.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 17 N 132 04 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 7 Net, Construction wood, Age 8 years, Registered Ketchikan, Last Port Ketchikan August 17, ON 224982

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed October 8, 1935 at Ketchikan


BOB (1910)     The schooner Bob became a total loss at Juneau in 1910.  The value of the vessel with cargo at the time was $3,000.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  58 18 15 N 134 24 30 W

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


BORNEO (1819)     The 233 ton fur trading ship Borneo was wrecked in a gale near Cape Muzon January 28, 1819.  She had left Boston December 3, 1817.  Her officers and crew were taken aboard the ship Volunteer after escaping local natives.  The ship and her entire cargo of furs were lost.  The survivors were taken to the Sandwich Islands.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  54 39 50 N 132 41 30 W     

                Sources : 1. History of the Northwest Coast (1886) Pg 340, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaska Shelf and Shore (1992)


BRIXHAM (1898)     The 530 net ton iron steamer Brixham stranded at the southeast end of Blashke Island, Clarence Strait, near Zarembo Island, at 2:47 a.m. on Thursday October 13, 1898 and became a total loss.  She had departed Seattle October 8, 1898 with 18 passengers, 42 crew and a 240 ton cargo of mostly hogs, sheep and cattle, bound for Dyea and Skagway.  The contributing factors listed in the wreck report include a southeast gale, a dark, stormy, rainy night and the vessel overran her distance.  The casualty took place before any danger was realized.  The crew and passengers all landed on Blashke Island and were spared, but the Brixham, valued at $75,000 and her cargo, valued at $12,500, were lost.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  56 07 N 132 54 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 626.68 Gross, Age 13 years, Registered Boston, ON 3455, Master James Durie of Brooklyn NY, Owner Boston and Alaska Transportation Co of Seattle, Length 183, Breadth 27.1, Depth 21.1, Horsepower 96, Built 1885 at Sunderland England

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Seattle by Boston & Alaska Transportation Co secretary October 24, 1898


BUCKEYE (1926)     The American gas screw Buckeye was destroyed by fire while at anchor in Whiskey Cove on the north shore of Pennock Island just south of Ketchikan at 2:30 p.m. January 26, 1926.  The vessel’s master, Glen R Day of Ketchikan heard an explosion found the vessel on fire.  He attempted to douse the flames with fire extinguishers without success.  He was soon assisted by the U S Coast Guard Cutter Cygan and several men from General Petroleum Corporation.  They sank the Buckeye to put out the blaze.  An accident report was filed the following day at Ketchikan by her master.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  55 19 40 N 131 37 45 W  Chart 17430

                Comment : H W McCurdy has this vessel lost in 1920 (Pg 313)

                Additional Information : Tonnage 15 Gross 10 Net, Construction wood, Built 1919, Registered Ketchikan, ON 218589, Owner Jane E Angel of Ketchikan, Vessel Value $5,000, Vessel Insurance $3,750, Cargo none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


BUCKLAND (1922)     It was 2:00 a.m. Sunday October 29, 1922 when the American gas screw Buckland drug anchor and stranded with two persons aboard.  The Buckland’s master and owner, Peter Beaudrie and his only crewman were able to escape, but the Buckland, valued at $1,200 became a total loss.  Beaudrie had left Wrangell on the 22nd and was “cruising for timber”.  The casualty occurred at the mouth of Anita By on the NE coast of Etolin Island.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  56 14 N 132 23 W  Chart 17382

                Additional Information : Tonnage 10 Gross 7 Net, Construction wood, Built 1908 at Wrangell, Registration Wrangell, ON 203277

                 Source : U S Customs Wreck Report


BUSTER (1926)     The American gas screw Buster was destroyed by fire and sank just outside Funter Bay at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday July 17, 1926.  She had just departed Funter Bay with captain T J O’Rourke at the helm and 5 crewmen aboard bound for Icy Strait.  The following is an accounting of the casualty from the wreck report filed at Ketchikan:

                “She left the cannery here at about 10:30 PM with her regular crew and brailing or lifting crew aboard to fish traps in Icy Strait.  Engine generating lights gave trouble, and engineer disconnected wiring to endeavor to locate and adjust trouble.  In some way the wires were crossed, creating a spark which ignited gasoline, and fire quickly spread despite the use of pyrenes.  Distress signal brought the Anna Barron and Driva to her assistance.”  “…steam tug Anna Barron pumped water on the vessel.  The M.S. Driva also stood by, and assisted in towing her into a dolphin in Funter Bay.  The line burned out, and she drifted into the Bay.  Burned all night and sank in deep water about 6:30 a.m. July 18, 1926.”

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  58 14 15 N 134 55 W  Chart 17300

                Additional Information : Construction wood, Tonnage 31 Gross 10 Net,  Built 1889, Registration Ketchikan, ON 14481, Owner Sunny Point Packing Company of Seattle, Vessel Value $6,000, Cargo none, Vessel Insurance $4,000, Weather light wind calm sea

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed August 21, 1926 by W N Williams superintendant of Funter Bay Cannery agent for Sunny Point Packing Company


BUSY BEE (1938)     Richard Young, owner and master of the vessel Busy Bee, and three crew narrowly escaped with their lives while fishing July 13, 1938.  The crew of four had left Todd on Tuesday, July 12, 1938 on a fishing trip.  The following day, after catching 10 to 12 tons of fish, the overloaded Busy Bee foundered inside Kelp Bay as they were leaving.  There was no wind and seas were calm but the vessel filled too quickly to do anything.  Assistance was rendered by the gas screw Redoubt who helped the crew get away from the wreck.

                Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska  Chart 17320

                Additional Information : Construction wood, Tonnage 9 Gross 8  Net, Age 19 years, Registered Juneau, ON 219170, Vessel Value $3,500, Cargo Value $180, Insurance none

                Source : U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Sitka by Young December 7, 1938

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