Unknown or Uncharted Alaska Shipwrecks ( R )

RAINBOW (1885)     The 351 ton whaling bark Rainbow was crushed in the ice and lost near Mys Navarin, Russia April 14, 1885.  The vessel sailed out of San Francisco December 10, 1884 bound for the North Pacific whaling.  She sank in 20 minutes and was a total loss along with her cargo of whale bone.

Mapping and Location: Russia

Sources: 1. The Northern Mariner (April 2006) “Nineteenth Century Commercial Shipping Losses” Pg 65, 2. Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore (1992)

RAM (1925)     The 14 ton 42 foot wooden gas screw freight vessel Ram stranded and was lost near East Cape, Siberia on Friday July 23, 1923.  The vessel had departed Nome July 20th bound for Mechigma Bay, Siberia with four crewmen.  There was no cargo on board at the time of the tragedy.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

“About twenty miles south west from East Cape, Siberia”  “Stranded”  “Engine refused to work and vessel was blown on shore”  “S E Wind very strong, cloudy, daytime”  “Engine refused to work and nothing could be done”  “Weather was so severe that when we secured vessel to fastenings on beach by attaching to the mast of vessel, the mast was pulled out, vessel keeled over into sea, filled with water and would soon break up”

The Ram, valued at $1,600, was a total loss.  The crew managed to find safety.  There was no insurance.

Mapping and Location: Siberia

Additional Information: Tonnage 14 Gross 11 Net, Length 41.8, Breadth 14.7, Depth 3.3, Horsepower 20, Built 1912 at Unalakleet, Master Victor Jacobsen of Nome, Owner Leo Seidenverg of Nome, Registered Nome, ON 210579

Sources: 1. U S C G Report of Casualty August 21, 1925 at Nome, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1925) Pgs 470-1

RAVALLI (1918)     The 1,305 ton 186 foot wooden single screw steamer Ravalli caught fire and was lost in Lowe Inlet June 14, 1918.  Spontaneous combustion of coal in the storage bins caused the blaze.  The vessel sailed from Seattle bound for Quadra and other southeast Alaska ports.  She had 50 passengers and 30 crewmen on board and was carrying 832 tons of cargo with a small quantity on deck.  The steamer Venture and three launches came to the assistance of the Ravalli and all passengers and crew made it to safety.  The three launches towed the Ravalli part of the way across the inlet and pumped water into the burning vessel.  She sank in 10 fathoms of water.  The Ravalli was valued at $150,000 and was a total loss as was almost all of her cargo. The casualty report stated the machinery from the vessel may be salvaged but in a damaged condition.  The Ravalli was insured for $126,000.

Mapping and Location: British Columbia

Comment: Wreck put in Merchant Vessel Losses of 1918 and USCG Report of Casualty at Lowe Inlet, Greenville Channel, Alaska.  Should be Lowe Inlet, Grenville Channel, British Columbia.  WG

Additional Information: Tonnage 908 Gross 777 Net, Length 186.2, Breadth 38.1, Depth 14.8, Built 1905 Fairhaven CA, Registered New York, ON 202681, SL KVDM, Master Robert D McGill, Owner Pacific Steamship Company of New York, Cargo Insurance unknown

Sources: 1. U S C G Report of Casualty July 12, 1918 by S H Haines, General Manager of Pacific Steamship Company, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1916) Pg 161, 3. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1919) Pg 450

RAVEN (1994)     The 98 foot steel tug Raven sank in 65 fathoms of water November 23, 1994. The vessel had recently been salvaged after sinking in Dutch Harbor in April 31, 1994 while towing a Sealand Ship. The 165 foot fishing vessel Pacific Knight was towing the Raven to Seattle for repairs when she began taking on water. Unable to control the flooding, the crew of the Pacific Knight cut the tow line and the Raven sank.

Mapping and Location: Unknown Alaska

Additional Information: Tonnage 142 Gross 96 Net, Length 98.3, Breadth 32, Depth 10.5, Built 1973 Houma LA, ON 546376, Call Sign WYZ9136, Former Name Phyllis A Guidry

Sources: 1. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1979) Pg 1170, 2. USCG MISLE Case # 937406


RICHARD III (1907)     The 985 ton wooden barge Richard III was abandoned by the steamer Alaskan in Clarence Strait January 25, 1907.  The Alaskan was forced to cast off from the barge because of a gale and low fuel.  The Alaskan proceeded to Niblack for fuel and on her return was unable to locate the Richard III.  The barge eventually stranded and was lost in Virago Sound on Graham Island in British Columbia.  There was no loss of life.

Mapping and Location: British Columbia

Additional Information:  Tonnage 985 Gross 918 Net, Built 1859 at Portsmouth NH, Registered San Francisco, ON 21900

Sources: 1. Marine Disasters of the Alaska Route (1916) Pg 27, 2. Alaska File of the Revenue Cutter Service 1867-1914

ROALD AMUNDSON (1929)     The 30 ton 50 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Roald Amundson caught fire and was lost in Principe Canal at 9:30 p.m. Sunday May 5, 1929.  The vessel departed Ketchikan May 3rd for sea fisheries with three crewmen.  There were 1,000 pounds of fresh halibut on board worth $550.  The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

“Principe Canal, B.C.”  “Fire started in engine room”  “West wind 15 mile an hour, smooth, moonlight”  “Fire extinguisher used by all men on board”  “Fire broke out in the engine room and spread rapidly, we were forced to the lifeboat and poled 40 mile by hand, and then picked up by the Canadian lighthouse tender Newington and brought to Prince Rupert, B. C. May 7, 1929”

The Roald Amundson, valued at $12,000, and her cargo were total losses.  The vessel was insured for $7,000.  The cargo of fresh halibut had no insurance.

Mapping and Location: British Columbia

Comment: The Merchant Vessel Losses of 1929 puts this wreck at Principe Canal, Alaska.  WG

Additional Information: Tonnage 30 Gross 23 Net, Length 49.5, Breadth 14, Depth 6.8, Built 1912 Poulsbo WA, HP 40, Registered Ketchikan, ON 210102, Master and Owner C O Angell of Gig Harbor WA

Sources: 1. U S C G Report of Casualty May 9, 1929 at Ketchikan by Carl O Angell, 2. Merchant Vessel of the U S (1928) Pgs 480-1

RODGERS (1881)     The U S Survey Steamer Rodgers was burned in Saint Lawrence Bay, Siberia in 1881.  The crew was rescued by the whaler North Star and transferred to the Revenue Cutter Corwin and taken to Sitka.

Mapping and Location: Siberia

Source: Lewis and Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1895) Pg 290

RONNIE D (1970)     The 37 foot steel gasoline powered fishing vessel Ronnie D foundered six miles outside of McArthur Pass.

Mapping and Location: Unknown

Comment: Multiple McArthur Passes. WG

Additional Information: Tonnage 14 Gross 10 Net, Length 37, Breadth 12.5, Depth 4.5, Built Cleveland OH, 143 HP, ON 249329

Sources: 1. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1974) Pg 1259, 2. Merchant Vessels of the U S (1965) Pg 589


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *