Unknown Alaska Shipwrecks

These are losses I have yet to chart or those outside of Alaska including Russia, Siberia, Yukon Territory and British Columbia.  Many lack enough information and others will take further research.  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 )

Unknown wreck on Afognak Island compliments of Peter Thompson
Unknown wreck on Afognak Island compliments of Peter Thompson

14 Replies to “Unknown Alaska Shipwrecks”

  1. i was trying to find information on the RUTH L wich sank in 1961 nov 21st i believe with my freinds dad on board.his name was DAVE PONTZ and i believe 2 or 3 othe men lost.i saw mention of this on your page.i had asked the kodiak wifes to try and find info so we could ad there names on the memorial in kodiak this memorial day.tho its been a month since i last talked to the lady whose been helping me try to get this info so as to have them added as soon as possible.i would thankyou for the page with the story i could not find the story of the vessel no letter to coincide with RUTH L

    1. According to the List of Merchant Vessels of 1963 which has a post of the losses of the previous two years, the Ruth L sank near Cape Douglas November 21, 1961. She was 60.4 feet long, 18.2 Wide and 7.5 Deep, 55 tons gross built in 1917 in Saulsalito, California, Official Number 215746. Her owner of record in 1960 was Victor Hansen of Seattle. I am currently working on the vessels lost before about 1940 but have files on all the rest. The Ruth L will be posted in Southcentral Wrecks in time. Sorry for your loss. I am a semi-retired Kodiak fisherman and have been inspired by the losses of so many friends to compile this site.

    2. Hi George,

      The three men aboard the Ruth L were Capt. Bob Hansen, David Pontz, and Dick Freimuth. I have a pdf of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner article on the incident and can send it to you.

      Some context for me: My name is Mike Burwell and I’m the Burwell part of the Tornfelt & Burwell 1992 book “Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore.” Before I retired last year from the US Dept of Interior, Minerals Management Service (that was renamed USDOI, BOEMRE after the the Gulf Oil Spill and is now USDOI, BOEM) I took the list in the book and updated it. It is now found on the web at http://alaska.boemre.gov/ref/ships/2011_shipwr/2011_Shipwreck.pdf and is a 600 page searchable pdf table/list of Alaska shipwrecks from the year 1729 through the year 2000. It’s a really great resource and I think captaingood is just the guy who can use it to to carry on the noble work of shipwreck losses here on his Alaska Shipwrecks site.

      1. Hello Mike. I reference your 1992 Shipwreck list and 2011 BOEMRE list on a daily basis. I am honored to have your responses on this site. Thanks for all you have done.

  2. I was on the F/V Storm which was sunk near Squaw Harbor in 1985, could you provide me any info, after being rescued I returned to Idaho without learning any more other than the owner Dennis Frye out of Homer was going to try to raise the vessel and attempt to salvage.

    1. I wasn’t able to find anything about the Storm in 1985. Any particulars you could give about the boat would make it easier to search. I was fishing with the Elizabeth F in 1985 doing Joint Ventures out of Kodiak. We lost the Alert with all hands February 14, 1985 while we were all fishing in the Shelikof Strait. They went missing near Bumble Bay. There was a Dennis Frye out of Kodiak who was lost when the Ocean Hope II went missing March 3, 1989 near Portage Bay. He was 26 years old at the time. Two weeks after Dennis Frye got lost was the Exxon Valdez disaster.

    2. To the best of my knowledge the Storm was never recovered. She was one of the old round-bottomed, wooden hulled sardine seiners nick-named as ‘God’s boats’. Dennis bought another boat and continued to crab, trawl and tender for many years and eventually retired to the lower 48.

  3. I can’t tell if my earlier comment was posted, so here is an abbreviated version of it:

    The men aborad the Ruth L were Capt. Bob Hansen, David Pontz, and Dick Freimuth. I have a Fairbanks Daily News Miner article describing the incident.

    Type: Wrecks – Visible
    Latitude: 51.317059
    Longitude: -178.971573
    Year Sunk: None
    Depth: None
    History: None
    Sounding Quality:
    Water Level Effect: always dry

    All crew Spanish – 32 men lost.
    We would like an actual picture and general information us coast guard

    we’re agree.

    1. The spelling of the wreck that is in most newspapers is San Patrick. I have found a list of the names of crewmembers lost which I will be adding to my Alaska Shipwrecks lists. Several newspapers published photographs of the San Patrick as she broke up on Ulak Island in the Aleutians. Of the 32 persons lost with the vessel, it appears that only one unidentified body was recovered and later buried in Anchorage. Two other bodies were seen but bad weather prevented their recovery.

  5. Hello!
    I saw a shipwreck on Guertin island when I was staying on dove island.
    I was curious if you had any information about that wreck,
    Sorry if this isn’t the right spot to ask about that wreck, I’ve just always been curious. thanks very much. love your site

    1. That was probably the Menoquet. I believe she ended up towed over to the houseboat cove on the northwest side of Guertin Island and beached. She layed over on her side and has been there since. Here is the entry from my books, which needs to be updated: The 197 ton 106 foot wooden diesel electric tug Menoquet foundered sometime before 1979 at Katlian Bay. She was salvaged and towed to the Jamestown Bay area of Sitka but rolled over again and was left to the elements. The Menoquet was originally a Navy Tug doing service in WWII in the Pacific. She was stricken from the Navy List in May of 1959. The Menoquet was built in 1944 at San Francisco, CA with Official Number 281433. Her former name was YTB-256 (U S N).

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