South West Alaska Shipwrecks

South West Alaska for the purposes of this website includes everything W of Unimak Pass out the Aleutian Islands to Attu.  This area includes the Pribilof Islands and Saint Matthew Island. I used NOAA International Chart 513 of the North Pacific and Southern Bering Sea to locate the losses.  The locations of each wreck, given in longitude and latitude, are of the geographic feature nearest the loss, not of the wrecks themselves.  I will leave that to those who visit the actual areas and seek out evidence of the casualties.  I am listing vessels alphabetically and setting a link as I complete each letter.

( A )  ( B )  ( C )  ( D )  ( E )  ( F )  ( G )  ( H )  ( I )  ( J )  ( K )  ( L )  ( M )

( N )  ( O )  ( P )  ( Q )  ( R )  ( S )  ( T )  ( U-V-W )  ( X-Y-Z )

Islands of Four Mountains, Aleutian Islands
Islands of Four Mountains, Aleutian Islands

8 Replies to “South West Alaska Shipwrecks”

  1. I’m looking for information regarding the loss of a crabber in the fall of 1968. The vessel name was the Ruth L, owned by Edwin T Grabowski. All I know is the boat was headed for Seattle with a full load of crab and the last contact with the owner was two days before they should have made port. No evidence of the boat or bodies of the crew were ever recovered that the owner’s widow is aware of.

    Also interested in any record you may have of another wreck that happened near Cape Sarichef on December 12th or 13th, 1968. Vessel this time was North Sea, captained by Edwin Grabowski; two crew members lost, bodies never recovered. Vessel lost. Capt. Grabowski was found dead on a nearby beach and the cook Ben Golodov was the sole survivor.

    1. The only reference to a Ruth L that I have found that seems to be close to your inquiry is from 1961. The diesel powered 55 ton crab vessel Ruth L was lost near Cape Douglas November 21, 1961. They were headed to Seldovia with a load of crab. There is mention of Richard “Red” Freimuth lost on the Ruth L on that date in 1961 on the 6th Column of the Fishermen’s Memorial at Homer, Alaska. There is also a memorial brick (#68) with the name Ed Grabowski on it at that same memorial. The North Sea was lost off of the southwest coast of Unimak Island December 12, 1968. My information is about the same as yours regarding the loss of Edwin Grabowski and two others. I find newspaper articles from the time of losses are very productive for information. The best publications are either near the area of the loss or the port where the vessel was registered. Libraries often have microfilms that can be reviewed. Some larger newspapers like the New York Times and the San Francisco Call have digitized the older archives and made them available online. I will watch for further information on the losses as I build this site. My condolences to those who lost friends or loved ones.

  2. Thank You. Dick Freimuth was on the Ruth L when she went down. Capt. Grabowski’s widow is (at 92 years young) very sure of that. I hadn’t even thought of the Fisherman’s Memorial. Field Trip this weekend, me thinks… Other than Anchorage and maybe? Homer, do you know of any other newspapers in the area at the time that I could check with?
    Thanks again,

  3. Hi again,
    Talked to the Captain’s widow again today and she said a man named Dave Pontz was also on the Ruth L when she went down. She’s ‘pretty sure’ they had a 4 man crew aboard, but she couldn’t remember the other two. Today.

    1. I found a reference to Dave Pontz in the Owosso (Mich) Argus Press of December 30, 1961, Page 12 that mentions that searchers were looking for Dave Pontz and two companions from a 70 foot fishing vessel 200 miles south of Anchorage. The article also states that he left behind a two year old son and was living in Seldovia when the tragedy occurred. That would make the old Seldovia newspapers a good resource for information. I would check and see if the Library there has the old newspapers from that period on microfilm or better yet digitized on computer.

  4. trying to find out about a ship, which is still visible, that rests right out of Belcofski, ak.THANKS!

    1. The only recent wreck in that vicinity was the Capt’n Andrew which was lost over toward Bold Cape in 2011. A better description would be helpful. Wood or metal, rough size (more than 100 feet?), type vessel (freighter, seiner, barge) would be helpful.

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