Unknown or Uncharted Alaska Shipwrecks ( B )

BALKOM NO. 8 (1924)     The 63 ton barge Balcom No. 8 became a total loss in 1924 after stranding at Bluff Point.

                Mapping and Location : Unknown (too many Bluff Points)

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


BARBARA HERNSTER (1905)     The Barbara Hernster was reported wrecked near Bald Head at the entrance to Plover Bay within Providence Bay on the east coast of Siberia July 24, 1905.  She was a two masted schooner of 148 tons built in Fairhaven California by Bendixsen in 1887 for Robert Sudden of San Francisco.  At the time of the accident the Barbara Hernster was on a prospecting expedition for the Northeastern Siberian Company.

                Mapping and Location : Siberian Coast

                Comment : A detailed accounting of this wreck is available online by researching her captain,Olaf Swenson.

                Source : The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 115


BAYCHIMO (1931)     The trading supply steamer Baychimo was caught in the ice and abandoned in the Arctic Ocean in the fall of 1931.  One report was that she drifted for 52 months along with the arctic ice pack until she finally disappeared in 1934.  Others have the Baychimo sighted as late as 1969.  She is often referred to as the “Ghost Ship of the Arctic”.

                Mapping and Location : Somewhere in the Arctic

                Additional Information : Construction steel, Tonnage 1322, Built 1914 Sweden, Owner Hudson Bay Company, Length 230 feet

                Source : 1. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest Pgs 419&432, 2. Wikipedia.org


BELVEDERE (1919)     The steam whaling bark Belvedere was abandoned on Tuesday September 16, 1919 at 7:45 in the morning by her thirty crew and three passengers.  She had been trapped in the ice twelve miles N.E. of Cape Jinretlen on the coast of Siberia.  The Belvedere had departed Nome on August 13, 1919 on a voyage to the Siberian Coast.  The financial loss included the vessel’s value at $100,000 and her cargo of 110 tons of general merchandise, furs, ivory, whalebone, walrus oil and hides worth $90,000.  The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by her master, Carl Hansen of Seattle:

                “Vessel in heavy NE gale, could not weather the ice on the outside and had to follow a lead on inside, and was prevented from maneuvering the vessel.”  “Tried to get into a lead where the water was smooth so I could handle the vessel, but could not.”  “Gale at seventy miles an hour, blinding snow storm and dark.”  “Steering gear carried away at 9:30 P.M. on September 15, ice closed in rapidly and made it impossible to move vessel.  Abandoned vessel at 7:45 A.M. on Sept. 16, with eight feet of water in hold and the vessel sank at 11: 45 A.M. on September 16, 1919.”  All souls onboard survived.

                Mapping and Location : Siberian Coast  67 07 N 173 39 W

                Comment : Probably Cape Dzhenretlen WG

                Additional Information : Tonnage 523 Gross 406 Net, Built in 1880, Registration Seattle, ON 3126, Owner Hibbard-Stewart Co & Olof Swenson of Seattle

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report filed at Nome Collection District 31 on October 13, 1919, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 312


BESSIE REUTER (1892)     The 31 ton schooner Bessie Reuter is reported to have been lost in 1892 with all hands in Alaskan waters.

                Mapping and Location : Unknown Alaskan Waters

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


BONANZA (1905)     It was Wednesday 7:00 p.m. August 23, 1905 when the wood schooner Bonanza was crushed by ice at King Point in the Arctic Ocean. She was reported to have been beached at Herschel Island by her master, William Mogg of San Francisco.  She departed San Francisco March 30, 1903 bound for whaling and trading.  The value of her cargo at the time of the tragedy was $8,000 worth of ship stores and whaling gear.  The value of the Bonanza at the time of her loss was reported at $6,000.  The crew of 23 all survived. The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by Mogg December 7, 1905:

                “Strong southerly wind, clear.”  “Caught in ice pack.”  “Crushed by ice.”  “Leaking so badly, had to beach vessel and was there jammed by ice.”

                Mapping and Location : Northern Yukon Territory  69 65 N 138 55 W

                Additional Information : Tonnage 152.4, Length 102, Breadth 27.2, Depth 8.7, Built 1875 in San Francisco, Registered San Francisco, ON 2967, Owner Pacific Trading Company of San Francisco

                Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report Alaska Collection District, 2. The H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pgs 115&116


BRISTOL (1902)     The 1274 ton British steamer Bristol was lost on January 2, 1902 along with 7 of her crew of 28.  She was on a voyage from Ladysmith, Vancouver Island to the Treadwell Mines in Alaska when she stranded on a reef at 11:00 p.m. off Grey Island, N Dundas Island in Chatham Sound.  The Bristol was laden with coal and struggling in a southeasterly gale when the stranding occurred.  At 7:00 the following morning, the Bristol slipped off of the reef and sank in 34 fathoms of water.  Her master, James McIntyre, her pilot, her chief and her 3rd engineer along with three other crew members were drowned. 

                Mapping and Location : British Columbia  54 40 N 13 130 44 W

                Comment : I have seen this wreck marked in a captains log from the period well north of its Grey Island reported location. WG

                Sources : 1. The Annual Report of Canada Department of Marine and Fisheries (1903) Pg 75, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaska Shelf and Shore (1992)


BUENA VISTA (1870)     It was June of 1870 when the vessel Buena Vista was lost in the Gulf of Alaska.

                Mapping and Location : Unknown

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


BYZANTIUM (1871)     The 179 ton brig Byzantium was lost October 19, 1871 after striking a reef in Weynton Passage in Johnstone Strait.  The vessel was on a whaling cruise to the north with captain Thomas Welcome Roys at the helm.  She slipped off of the reef and sank in 60 fathoms of water.

                Mapping and Location : British Columbia  Canadian Chart 3546

                Sources : 1. Lewis and Dreyden Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1961) Pg 199, 2. History of whaling Wikipedia.org




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