South West Alaska Shipwrecks ( G )

GALAXY (2002)     The 171 foot cod fishing catcher processor Galaxy caught fire, suffered multiple explosions and was lost October 20, 2002 approximately 30 miles southwest of Saint Paul Island in the Bering Sea.  24 of the 26 crewmembers aboard were rescued by the U S Coast Guard and Good Samaritan vessels Blue Pacific, Glacier Bay and Clipper Express.  Weather on scene was 30 to 40 knot winds, 10 to 15 foot seas and freezing spray.  First mate Jerry Stephens and cook George Karn were lost.  Jose Rodas died as a result of injuries suffered in the disaster.  Also lost from the Good Samaritan vessel Clipper Express was Daniel Schmiedt, who was washed overboard by a rogue wave subsequent to the rescue of the Galaxy crewmembers.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   57 10 N 170 15 W   Chart 16011

Additional Information: Tonnage 1385, ON 576981, Call Sign WYL5349

Sources: 1. U S C G News Release (October 20, 2002) “Ship explodes in Bering Sea, 26 fishermen abandon ship as Coast Guard crews race to rescue”, 2. Seattle Post Intelligencer (January 24, 2003) “Skipper describes tragic day aboard Galaxy fishing boat”, 3. U S C G News Release (October 22, 2002) “Coast Guard suspends search for missing Clipper Express crewman”, 4. USCG MISLE Case # 95035


GEMINI (1980)     The 110 foot crab fishing vessel Gemini iced up, rolled over and sank January 15, 1980 in the Gulf of Alaska.  Three of her five crewmembers were picked up from a life raft 150 miles southeast of Cold Bay by a U S Coast Guard helicopter from Cold Bay.  The Gemini was on her way to safe harbor in Beaver Inlet when the disaster occurred.  Lost were captain Roy O’Harrow and crewman Steve Holden.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   53 50 N 166 15 W   Chart 16011

Additional Information: Tonnage 198 Gross 135 Net, Length 93.6, Breadth 29, Depth 9, Built 1974 Tacoma WA, ON 555788, Owner William A. White, Former Name Tara Dawn

Sources: 1. Dallas Morning News (January 20, 1980) Pg 41, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U.S. (1979) Pgs 563&2214, SL WYX3043


GENERAL (1898)     The barge General foundered at sea off of the Aleutian Islands while in tow of the vessel Rival June 2, 1898.  The 12 men aboard the barge were rescued by the Rival.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska  Unknown

Comment: It was reported September 1, 1898 that the schooner Uranus found a wrecked barge on Unimak Island with the word General marked on the bow. Many valuable stores were still on board.

            Sources: 1. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992), 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg41, 3. The Morning Oregonian (September 2, 1898) “Northern Marine News” Pg 3

GERANIUM (1974)     The five year old 11,477 ton Liberian flag freighter Geranium disappeared with all hands in a storm November 24, 1974 approximately 80 miles south of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands.  An empty lifeboat and scores of logs were all that was found.  28 Taiwanese crewmembers lost their lives with the vessel.  The Geranium was hauling logs and scrap metal from Port Angeles, Washington to Osaka, Japan.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   51 58 30 N 177 30 E   Chart 16012

Sources: 1. BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011), 2. Seattle Daily Times (December 11, 1974) “Last crewman owes life to injuries” Pg F 7


GOLDEN VENTURE (1988)     The 85 foot trawler Golden Venture capsized while making a turn with her trawl gear down and sank May 30, 1988 seven miles north of Yunaska Island.  Captain Rodney Main (44) of Tillamook, Oregon was lost.  Three other crewmembers made it to a life raft and were rescued by the fishing vessel Hazel Lorain.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   52 38 N 170 40 W   Chart 16011

Source: BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011)


GOLDEN VIKING (1983)     The 86 foot crab fishing vessel Golden Viking capsized and sank in rough weather September 1, 1983 approximately 9 miles south of Saint Matthew Island.  The vessel was making a turn in preparation for setting the first string of pots for opening day of Red King Crab Season when she capsized. Four of her six crewmen escaped in a life raft and were picked up by the fishing vessel Tiffany.  Lost were Mike McKee of Seattle and Nick Moe of Newport, Oregon.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   60 24 N 172 42 W   Chart 16011

Sources: 1. BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011), 2. The Seattle Times (September 2, 1983) “Two missing following capsizing of crab boat” Pg C 16, 3. Oregonian (September 3, 1983) “Search for crab boat crewmen ended” Pg E6, 4. Crewmember conversation on (December 26, 2018) “Commercial Fishing Losses of 1983”


GRUNION (1942)     The 311 foot U S Navy submarine Grunion (SS-216) was reported lost August 16, 1942 in the vicinity of Kiska Harbor.  She had severely damaged the Japanese transport ship Kashima Maru on July 31, 1942 northeast of Kiska.  Her last transmission relayed that she intended to cover Kiska Harbor.  Six officers and 54 enlisted men were likely lost with the Grunion.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   51 58 N 177 34 E   Chart 16012

Source: BOEM Alaska Shipwreck List (2011)


GUARDIAN (1898)     The 173 foot 1124 ton wooden bark Guardian struck a reef and sank north of Sigalda Island near Unalaska at 10 p.m. Sunday August 7, 1898.  The vessel departed Kotzebue Sound July 21st with 17 crewmen and 1 passenger carrying only 350 tons of ballast.  The following statements came from the wreck report filed by master Jas. C  Eagles at Seattle:

“Fresh..thick fog…very dark…Thick fog and strong currents.”  “Rock north of Sigalda Island, Alaska Long 165 Lat 54 near Unalaska.”  “Stranding…put wheel down, attempted to tack ship.”

“Ship first struck starboard side, backed off reef; current and wind carried her about 100 yards on to another reef when she filled and sunk.”  “British ship Amphia rescued a portion of crew.”

All those aboard survived, but the Guardian, valued at $12,000 became a total loss.  The master of the vessel did not know whether the Guardian had insurance at the time the report was filed.

Mapping and Location: Southwest Alaska   54 06 N 165 05 W   Chart 16006

Comment: Probably Tigalda Island.  WG

Additional Information: Length 173, Breadth 38.8, Depth 23.5, Built 1863 Damariscotta ME, Tonnage 1123.59 Gross, 1072.55 Net, Registered Port Townsend, ON 10896, Master Jas C Eagles of Boston Mass, Owner John Little of Rico Colorado

Source: U S Customs Wreck Report filed August 29, 1898 at Seattle

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