Part IV

Continued from Feb. 6, 2015 issue, Page 15

EDITOR’S NOTE: This list includes Kodiak fishing vessels that have disappeared during the past two centuries. Many of the non-Kodiak ships that capsized near Kodiak Island had deckhands who were island residents.

Captain Warren Good’s original list includes mapping, locations, GPS coordinates and sources for each entry. Those are not included in the Daily Mirror’s listing for brevity. This listing also does not include the vessels swallowed by a massive tidal wave spawned by the magnitude 9.2 earthquake that hit Kodiak on March 27, 1964.

We are publishing this list to pay homage to the brave crewmen whose families continue to seek closure. — Roni Toldanes

PAULINE COLLINS (1881) The 70 ton fur trading schooner Pauline Collins stranded and was lost near Karluk on Thursday October 6, 1881. She had departed St Paul Harbor, Kodiak and was bound for Karluk via Afognak and St Augustine with six crewmen and four passengers on board. The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by H R Bowen, master of the Pauline Collins :

“Karluk, North beach, Kadiak Island” “Stranding” “Sudden change of winds and mistaying of schooner” “Natives of Karluk and crew recovering sails, anchors and chains”

The Pauline Collins, valued at $7,000 was a total loss. She was in ballast with no cargo. The crew and passengers escaped to safety.

Comment: Captain Bowen escaped from this tragedy but was aboard the Seventy-Six in 1885 when it disappeared with all hands on a trip from Kodiak to Kayak Island.

— Capt. Warren Good

PHYLLIS S (1934) The 46 ton 60 foot oil screw fishing vessel Phyllis S stranded in heavy fog on outer

Left Cape on the night of Tuesday May 22, 1934. The crew of three left Kodiak that day on a round trip to Shearwater Bay. The vessel was valued at $9,000 at the time of the tragedy, and sustained $7,000 in damages. There was no insurance. The crew made it to safety.

PHYLLIS S (1942) The 46 ton 60 foot wooden oil screw Phyllis S was lost in a collision with a U S Navy vessel December 17, 1942 near Kodiak. The Phyllis S was hauling mail and nearly cut in half in Kupreanof Strait by the Navy destroyer Hulbert. Two lives were lost from the Phyllis S.

PILGRIM (1931) The 12 ton 35 foot wooden gas screw Pilgrim exploded and sank at 11:00 a.m. Thursday November 19, 1931 at “Malina Straits”. The vessel departed Afognak that day with two persons aboard bound for “Adjoining beaches”. The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

“Malina Straits” “No severe wind” “Engine backfired, igniting engine room” “Engine functioned properly at start of trip. After proceeding about 200 yards engine stopped. When started again, engine backfired and engine room burst into flames. An explosion of gas tank was feared, crew took to lifevboat. When 100 feet from vessel gas tank did explode, blowing out port side of vessel, which filled and sank.”

PIONEER (2003) The 80 foot wooden 1914 halibut schooner Pioneer was scuttled by her owner January 5, 2003 approximately six miles off of Cape Chiniak in 260 feet of water. The vessel had fallen into disrepair and was in danger of sinking in the Kodiak boat harbor.

POLAR BEAR (1935) The 162 ton 84 foot wooden oil screw Polar Bear stranded and was lost in Kupreanof Strait at 4:05 p.m. Friday July 19, 1935. The vessel had departed Kodiak that day bound for Seattle with 10 crewmen aboard. She was carrying a 55 ton cargo of fish and trading goods valued at $15,000. The following are excerpts from the casualty report filed J H Petrich, mate of the Polar Bear:

“Strong breeze; misty; poor visibility; choppy sea” “West end Dry Spruce Island, Kupreanof Straits, S W Alaska” “Stranded on rock” “Error in navigation by mate” “Engines reversed on striking” “C G Cutter Aurora took crew off beach and transferred them to the C G Cutter Morris at Kodiak, which vessel transported crew to Seward, Alaska” “Total Loss”

The Polar Bear was valued at $65,000 and was a total loss along with her cargo. The insurance was reported to be “blanket coverage” for the vessel and her cargo.

PROVISION (2004) The operator of the 92-foot fish tender Provision fell asleep and ran aground Aug. 4, 2004 on the northwest end of Long Island near Kodiak. She rolled over and sank two days later. All fuel was removed and the overturned vessel towed off the rocks Sept. 9, 2004 and scuttled intentionally by her owner. There was no loss of life.

RACONA II (2003) The 72 foot vessel Racona II took on water and sank May 30, 2003 two miles off of Spruce Cape near Kodiak. The two crewmen on board were rescued by the fishing vessel Compromise.

RAINY DAWN (1989) The 32 foot longline fishing vessel Rainy Dawn sank September 8, 1989 off of Afognak Island, 22 miles northeast of Kodiak Island. The vessel’s scuppers filled with fish causing the deck to flood. All four crewmembers were rescued.

RAKETEER (1987) The vessel Raketeer ran aground on a reef and was abandoned July 22, 1987 in Alitak Bay on the south end of Kodiak Island. All four persons on board were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter.

RESPONSE (1993) The 130-foot. longline cod fishing vessel Response was consumed by fire and sank May 13, 1993 off of Cape Chiniak near Kodiak. All 14 crewmembers were rescued.

RONNIE M (1965) The 196-ton, 89-foot wooden oil screw crab fishing vessel Ronnie M disappeared after leaving Juneau bound for Kodiak. The last the vessel was heard from was Dec. 18, 1965 off Cape Saint Elias. Five men were feared lost with the vessel. Including Rudy Tomasic of Kodiak, Ed Randle of Fairbanks and a Japanese man named Chick.

ROSYLAND (1922) The 42 ton 54 foot wooden gas screw fishing vessel Rosyland dragged anchor and Wass stranded on Kodiak Island at 6 a.m. May 25, 1922. The vessel departed Kodiak May 24, 1922 bound for Three Saints Bay with 7 passengers and 4 crewmen aboard. The Rosyland was carrying approximately two tons of merchandise and lumber as cargo. The following are excerpts from the casualty report:

“Strong NE Gale, heavy breakers” “In first bight E of entrance to Kalsin Bay approx. 5 mi. W of C Chiniak” “Vessel stranded on lea shore” “Anchors dragging” “Crew and passengers taken to Kodiak May 28 by Erskin”

The Rosyland was worth $10,000 at the time of the disaster, and her cargo $500. The vessel was a total loss but some of the cargo was salvaged. Insurance on the vessel was $7,000 with no coverage for cargo.

S#2 (1918) The 54 ton wooden barge S #2 was lost between Kodiak and Chignik March 1, 1918. The vessel was under tow when she iced down, the tow line parted and she foundered. She was carrying 11,000 pounds, 10 drums of distillates, valued at $275. The S#2 had a value of $5,000. There was no insurance on the vessel or her cargo.

SACCO (1983) The fishing vessel Sacco caught fire and burned September 5, 1983 while traveling between King Cove and False Pass. The crewmembers abandoned ship in a skiff and were rescued by the fishing vessel Kodiak Queen.

SAINT AUGUSTINE (1978) The 42 foot vessel Saint Augustine stranded and sank in Danger Bay on Afognak Island September 27, 1978. The two crewmen were picked up by the U S Coast Guard.

SAINT GEORGE (1881) The 100-ton schooner Saint George wrecked on a rock near Kodiak on Wednesday April 27, 1881. The vessel had departed Kodiak bound for English Bay and Nutchick with 3 passengers and 7 crewmen aboard. She was carrying $9,000 worth of general merchandise as cargo. The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by John Wessels, master of the Saint George:

“Struck unknown sunken rock off Twin Rocks” “Stove large hole in bottom, causing her to fill and be unmanageable” “Schooner Pauline Collins towed her to Long Island” “The rock apparently unknown by anyone seems to be very pointed rock over which we would have passed had it not been dead low tide.”

The Saint George had a value of $12,000. Both the vessel and her cargo are listed as nearly total losses. The Saint George was insured for $10,000 and her cargo for the same amount. There was no loss of life.

SAINT PATRICK (1981) 10 crewmen were lost when the 138 foot steel diesel screw scallop fishing trawler Saint Patrick was abandoned November 30, 1981 five miles east of Marmot Island near Kodiak.

The vessel had been laboring in heavy weather when she took a wave that laid her over and prompted the captain to order all to abandon ship. Only two of the 12 person crew survived. Lost were skipper Cornelius Green (37) of Hampton VA, mate James Jobe (23) of Norfolk VA, engineer Wilson Pair (28) of Hampton VA, deck boss Clifford Steigal (32) of South Bend, WA., cook Vanessa Sandin of Kodiak, deckhand Tom Kauppinen (20) of Norfolk VA, deckhand Charles Parlett (24) of West Point VA, deckhand Ronald Newton (23) of Lexington NE and deckhand Gary Todd Stallings of Live Oak FL. The vessel was found to be substantially lacking in lifesaving gear and crew experience. Wallace R Thomas (23) of Saint Augustine FL and Robert Kidd (28) of Warwick RI were the only survivors. The two suffered from severe frostbite and hypothermia when rescued from frozen beaches more than a day after the disaster. The Saint Patrick was found damaged and adrift in outer Marmot Bay days later. She was towed to Womans Bay and subsequently sank.

SAINT PAUL (1884) The 13.92 ton schooner Saint Paul was driven ashore and lost “Near Nikolaisosk settlement, Alas. 10 miles N of Belkopsky” on April 28, 1884. The vessel departed Belkofski bound for Kodiak with two aboard. A northeast gale caused the vessel to lose her anchors and be driven ashore. The schooner’s papers were lost with the vessel. There were two crewmen aboard who made it to safety. The Saint Paul had a value of $1,800 and her cargo of provisions was worth $400. Both the vessel and cargo were total losses. There was no insurance.

SAINT PAUL (1907) The 48-ton, 63-foot wooden schooner Saint Paul was blown ashore and lost in the Semidi Islands at 5 p.m. Oct. 6, 1907. The vessel departed Kodiak Sept. 22, 1907 bound for Chowiet Island with 9 crewmen aboard. The vessel was carrying 30 tons of merchandise valued at $2,000. The following are excerpts from the wreck report filed by Andy Anderson, master of the Saint Paul:

“ West side of Chowiet Island, Alas.” “Heavy wind blowing, high seas” “Anchor chains parted, blew ashore” “Northwest gale, high seas running, getting dark, and cloudy” “Both anchors down” “Total loss”

The Saint Paul had a value of $2,000 and was a total loss along with her cargo. There were no lives lost in the disaster.

SALMORA (1949) The 63 foot fishing vessel Salmora was reported lost Nov. 27, 1949 on a trip from Kodiak to Seattle. The Salmora was seen at Cordova Oct. 5, 1949. Missing and presumed lost with the vessel were skipper Edward Warren, Virginia Lee Edwards and Clint Rowley.

SALU (1977) The shrimp fishing vessel Salu swamped and sank in rough weather Jan. 3, 1977 approximately 20 miles off of Cape Chiniak south of Kodiak.

SARATOGA (1971) The fishing vessel Saratoga ran up on the rocks and was lost Nov. 8, 1971 near the mouth of Little Tonki Bay on Afognak Island. There were seven men on board on a hunting trip. They were all able to escape to a nearby rock where they were rescued by a U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter.

Comment: Little Tonki Bay is a local name for the smaller of the two inlets that make up Tonki Bay.

— Capt. Warren Good

SCANDIA (1927) The 116 ton 91 foot wooden oil screw fishing vessel Scandia stranded and was lost near Kodiak at 11:58 p.m. February 23, 1927. The vessel departed Seward bound for Kodiak with 15 crewmen aboard and $300 worth of ice and frozen herring.

The following are statements taken from the casualty report submitted by O O Hvatum, part owner and master of the Scandia:

“Wind 25-30 miles, dark about midnight” “Had lookout on forecastle, tried to locate buoy with searchlight” “Outer rocks, entrance to Kodiak” “Stranding” “Bell buoy on reef adrift and snow thick with NE wind” “(assistance) from Capt. Stone on Duncan 1” “Capt. Wm. Stone showed remarkable presence of mind in going inside reef in passage only about 200 yards wide and standing by until we all got on board his boat. As we lost two of our three dories in the breakers we had to make two trips to land all of the men on the Duncan. By that time a strong gale was blowing with danger of the Duncan having the same fate as the Scandia” “TOTAL LOSS”

SEA ERMINE (1968) The crab fishing vessel Sea Ermine ran aground and was lost Dec. 21, 1968 on Marmot Island near Kodiak. All five persons aboard, including a 10 year old boy were rescued by the United States Coast Guard.

SEA MINT (1997) The 54 foot salmon seiner Sea Mint flooded and sank April 16, 1997 off of Sitkalidak Island on her way to Alitak. There was no one on board at the time of the sinking.


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