South West Alaska Shipwrecks ( P )

PANDORA (1914)     The 8 ton 32 foot wooden gas screw Pandora wrecked and was lost near Unalaska Island at 3:30 p.m. May 21, 1914.  The vessel departed Unalaska April 26, 1914 bound for Kelikuk Bay with two crewmen aboard.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by George King, master of the Pandora:

                “Unalaska Island, Alaska”  “Wrecked about 6 miles from Biorka Pass, Unalaska Isld. name of cove unknown”  “Gale, strong SSW wind heavy, heavy swell, wind about 90 miles an hour, big heavy swell running in all afternoon”  “Went into cove dropped starboard anchor, vessel dove and began to take seas on board.  Cut anchor rope vessel went ashore”  “Vessel dove and took considerable water.  Knowing that if remained in this position all would be lost, for that reason I cut the anchor line”  “Total loss”

     The Pandora, valued at $500 was a total loss.  She was in ballast and carrying no cargo.  The crew survived.  There was no insurance.

                Mapping and Location : Southwest Alaska  53 49 50 N 166 12 30 W  Chart 16528

                Additional Information : Tonnage 8 Gross 7 Net, Length 31.6, Breadth 11.2, Depth 3.6, Built 1903 at Seattle, Registered Unalaska, ON 151004, Master George King of Unalaska, Owner Tom Snow of Unalaska

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report May 26, 1914 by George King, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1914) Pg 265


PARAMITA (1914)    The 1,582 ton 164 foot wooden bark Paramita stranded and was lost in the Krenitzin Islands at 11:30 a.m. Thursday May 14, 1914.  The vessel departed San Francisco April 17, 1914 bound for Koggiung on the Kvichak River in Bristol Bay with 169 persons aboard including crewmen and cannery hands.  She was also carrying 1,800 tons of general merchandise including coal, pilings, machinery and cannery supplies.  Two wreck reports were filed, one by the Nicholas Wagner, master of the Paramita and the other by her owner, L A Pederson.  Both were aboard.  Wagner states that the vessel struck the S E end of Ugamak Island.  Owner Pederson says the vessel struck the S E end of Rootok Island. Captain Wagner states the vessel was carrying 900 tons of cargo worth $65,000 and Owner Pederson states 1,800 tons worth $85,000.  Captain Wagner values the vessel at $20,000 and Owner Pederson at $18,000.  Captain Wagner states there were 103 cannery employees and 61 crewmen aboard and Owner Pederson states there were 154 passengers and 15 crewmen.  Both agree the vessel was lost at Lost Harbor.  The following are statements from the two wreck reports.   From Captain Wagner:

                 “Southwest gale at night, dark”  “Vessel struck rock SE end Ugamak Island.  Beached at Lost Harbor leaking badly.  Anchors tore bottom out in S W Gale” “Stranded and sunk”  “Lost Harbor, Akun Island, Alaska”  “Planks torn off bottom”

                From Owner Pederson:

                “Light SE wind, thick fog, dark”  S E point Rootok Island, Aleutian Group, Alaska”  “Stranding”  “Dropped both anchors”  “Vessel commenced tumping; in the mean time wind changed more easterly and hove anchor chains and got under way, but found that she was making 6 inches of water every 30 minutes with all pumps going.  Kept her afloat 7 hours and beached her at Lost Harbor, Akun Island.”

                The master of the vessel, Nicholas Wagner went to Unalaska for assistance which was rendered by the Revenue Cutters Takoma and Unalga.  The Paramita was a total loss.  Her cargo was partially salvaged.  The vessel had no insurance but the cargo was insured for $30,000.

                Mapping and Location : Southwest Alaska  54 13 45 N 165 36 30 W  Chart 16531

                Comment : There was a sulfur mining operation at Lost Harbor in the 1920’s.  WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 1,582 Gross 1,444 Net, Length 216.6, Breadth 41.3, Depth 23.1, Built 1879 at Freeport ME, Registered San Francisco, ON 150173, Master Nicholas Wagner of Berkeley CA, Owner L A Pederson of San Francisco CA

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report November 14, 1914 by Pederson, 2. U S Customs Wreck Report May 29, 1914 by Wagner at Unalaska, 3. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1913) Pg 75


PELICAN (1897)     The 2,338 ton 327 foot English tramp steamer Pelican sailed from Port Gamble Puget Sound October 3, 1897 for Taku, China and was never seen again.  She had 40 crewmen aboard and a load of railroad ties.  A bottle was found near Portage Bay along the Alaska Peninsula containing the following message:

 “S S Pelican Lat 50 N, Long 175 W (120 miles south of Atka Island in the Aleutians).  The ship is sinking, we are leaving her in frail boats. Please report us.  W T Peterson, Chief Officer, Port Townsend, Wash. U.S.”

It was verified that W T Peterson was the Chief Officer of the missing steamer Pelican.  Many searches were conducted but no sign of the Pelican, or her crew, were ever found.

Mapping and Location : Southwest Alaska  50 N 175 W  Chart 16012

                Additional Information : Tonnage 2,338 Gross 1,089 Net, Length 327.5, Breadth 36.75, Depth 27, Built 1882 Glasgow, Captain Gove, Owner E S Whealler of Hong Kong

                Sources : 1. Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914 (1898), 2. San Francisco Call May 31, 1899 Mysterious Loss of the Pelican Solved Pg 7


PERRY (1910)     The 451 ton 161 foot steamer Perry, in service as a U S Revenue Cutter was lost July 30, 1910 at Tonki Point Reef on Saint Paul Island.  The vessel was valued at $150,000 with cargo at the time of the loss.

                Mapping and Location : Southwest Alaska  57 08 50 N 170 12 40 W  Charts 16011, 16382

                Comment : Tonki Point now more commonly called Stony Point.  WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 451, Length 161, Breadth 25, Depth 11.02, Built 1884 at Buffalo NY, Registered Port Townsend WA

                Sources : 1. Marine Disasters of the Alaska Route (1916) Pg 33, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1909) Pg 418


PREDPIIATIE SV ALEXANDRY (1802)     The Russian vessel Predpiiatie Sv Alexandry (Enterprise of St Alexander) wrecked and became a total loss at Unalaska Island in 1802.

                Mapping and Location : Southwest Alaska  53 35 N 166 50 W  Charts 16011, 16520

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


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