Unknown or Uncharted Alaska Shipwrecks ( N )

NANCY L (1978)     The new 38 foot aluminum gillnet troller Nancy L disappeared after leaving Anacortes, Washington for Craig with three persons aboard.  Debris from the missing vessel was found below the cliffs of Calvert Island northwest of Victoria, British Columbia.  Lost were skipper Clarence Freshour (40), his father Albert Freshour (68) and Bob Castleberry of Colorado.

Mapping and Location: British Columbia

Source: Seattle Times (April 5, 1978) “More debris found; crew still missing” Pg B 5


NAPOLEON (1885)     The 306 ton American whaling bark Napoleon was lost in the spring of 1885 in the Bering Sea.  She had recently departed San Francisco for the Arctic and was valued at $50,000 at the time of the disaster. The vessel was crushed in the ice and sank with little time to evacuate. Four boats were lowered by davits as she sank and two of those small vessels went down with the ship. 18 crewmembers managed to board the two remaining boats and made their way away from the wreck. Of those only 9 survived to make landfall more than a month later on the Siberian Coast about 50 miles southwest of Cape Navarin. Two of those survivors died shortly after landfall. The remaining seven were attended to by local natives. Six died during the next 18 months of health problems mostly related to dietary and nutritional shortfalls. After two years, the sole survivor of the 18 shipwrecked whalers was James B. Vincent. Vincent was rescued by the U S Revenue Cutter Bear. The Bear had been dispatched to the area when reports of a long shipwrecked sailor circulated all the way to Alaska.

Mapping and Location: Unknown Bering Sea

Sources: 1. Marine Disasters of the Alaska Route (1916) Pg 32, 2. The Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914 Microcopy 641 (1966), 3. The Alaskan (September 17, 1887) “Cast Away in Siberia – The Sole Survivor of Eighteen Shipwrecked Mariners – Two Years Life Among the Indians”

NESIKA (2001)     The fishing vessel Nesika was reported lost December 11, 2001.  Lost with the vessel were captain Robert Thompson, Steven Langlot, Ben Eder and Jarid Hamrick.

Mapping and Location: Oregon

Source: Unofficial Shipwreck List (Alaska)


NICHOLAS (1880)     The schooner Nicholas was driven ashore and became a total loss at Elainia Island April 6, 1880.

Mapping and Location: Unknown Alaska

Comment: The Sacramento Record Daily Union reported August 28, 1880 that this vessel was wrecked near Smith’s River.

Source: Marine Disasters of the Alaska Route (1916) “List of Wrecks in Alaskan Waters from Records of Customs Office, Juneau” Pg 32

NO 1 (1898)     The steel barge No 1 foundered at sea in Alaskan waters June 17, 1898.  Her value at the time of the disaster was $17,000 with cargo.

Mapping and Location: Alaska Unknown

Source: Marine Disasters of the Alaska Route (1916) “List of Wrecks in Alaskan Waters from Records of Customs Office, Juneau” Pg 35

NOMAD (1897)     The four masted schooner Nomad disappeared on a return trip from China along the Great Circle Route after leaving Shanghai December 7, 1897 for Seattle. She made her maiden voyage with a cargo of lumber out of Port Blakely in August of 1897 with a crew of 10 and one passenger. Lost with the Nomad were Captain John W. McAmep, the captain’s daughter Miss Helen McAmep, 1st Mate C.W. Soderstrom, 2nd Mate Charles Looman, Cook Fred Holmes, Carpenter Weston C. McAmep, Seaman George H. McAmep, Seaman R. Visentini, Seaman R. Thompson, Seaman G. Olsen and Cabin Boy L.E. Bloodgood.

Mapping and Location: Unknown

Comment: The tramp steamer Pelican disappeared shortly before the Nomad along the same route passing near the Aleutian Islands. Speculation at the time voiced the possibility of a connection between the two disappearances. An overturned wreck resembling the Nomad was spotted in June of 1898 245 miles west of Coos Bay Oregon.

Sources: 1.The San Francisco Chronicle (July 7, 1898) “Wreck Adrift In The Pacific” Pg 13, 2. The San Jose Evening News (March 4, 1899) “Wreckage From the Missing Pelican” “Nomad May Have Struck a Derelict” Pg 5


NOME (1900-1901)     The 231 ton two masted schooner Nome was believed lost in Alaskan Waters between 1900 and 1901.

Mapping and Location: Unknown Alaska

Comment: This may be the 45 foot Nome Schooner York or New York.  WG

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

NORTH BEACH (1970)     The 75 foot wooden oil screw fishing vessel North Beach stranded and was lost at Spiz Reef February 8, 1970.

Mapping and Location: Unknown Alaska

Additional Information: Tonnage 108 Gross 73 Net, Length 75.8, Breadth 21.5, Depth 9.6, Built 1940 Tacoma WA, 350 HP, SL WA9772, ON 239890

Sources: 1. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1974) Pg 1258, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1965) Pg 501


NORTH WIND (1996)     The 86 foot power scow North Wind grounded and sank September 2, 1996 in Fancy Cove.

Mapping and Location: British Columbia

Source: Michael Burwell Shipwreck List (2013)


NOR-KAP (1922)     The 15 ton wooden gas screw Nor-Kap caught fire on the gridiron in Triangle Bay and became a total loss July 7, 1922.  The vessel, valued at $1,500 had not been run in over a month.  The blaze was of unknown origin.  The Nor-Kap had no insurance.

Mapping and Location: Unknown

Additional Information: Tonnage 15 Gross 12 Net, Age 11 years, Registered Everett, ON 208960, Master and Owner John Mackie of Stanwood

Source: U S C G Report of Casualty August 1, 1922 at Seattle by Mackie


3 Replies to “Unknown or Uncharted Alaska Shipwrecks ( N )”

  1. NAPOLEON (sank in 5 May 1885)
    There were 15 survivors from the whole ship’s crew of 36, which had taken to the four ship’s boats, nine in each.

    14 (including the captain and two mates) in the two boats found by revenue steamer THOMAS CORWIN on 9 May 1885. This should have been well reported in the San Francisco and national papers from 12 October 1885, after THOMAS CORWIN docked at San Francisco;

    One survivor from the other two boats (James B Vincent), who survived ashore in Siberia until rescued in 1887 by revenue steamer BEAR – well documented in the newspapers from September 1887.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. The article that appeared in The Alaskan in September of 1887 was the primary source of this entry. Apparently J B Vincent did not know of the survivors in the other two boats or the story was told as a sole survivor story for effect. Yellow journalism was rampant at that time. Whatever the case, the new information is appreciated…

  2. PS to my previous message.

    1887 newspapers have James B Vincent being rescued by the whaling bark HUNTER and then landed at Victoria, British Columbia by revenue steamer RUSH (rather than BEAR) in September 1887.

    Probably easier for you to check this out with the contemporary sources, rather then me over in (Old) England.

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