Anchorage Daily Times May 27, 1929
|LINER ALEUTIAN WRECKED IN WESTWARD WATERS
ROCKS IN LARSON BAY TEAR BOTTOM OFF SHIP; PASSENGERS ARE SAFE
VESSEL WENT TO THE BOTTOM EARLY SUNDAY MORNING IN DEEP WATER—SANK IN SEVEN MINUTES AFTER HITTING ROCK—PASSENGERS AND CREW BROUGHT TO SEWARD BY GOVERNMENT BOAT—ONE MAN DROWNED
The Alaska Steamship Company’s palatial passenger liner Aleutian, which arrived at Seward Friday afternoon from Seattle and which proceeded from Seward to the westward, struck a rock in Uyak bat at 5:30 o’clock Sunday morning and sank in seven minutes, plunging to the bottom bow first. All of the 15 passengers and crew of 135 made their escape in the life boats with the exception of Manual Dorras, janitor of the crew’s quarters, who climbed back aboard the sinking liner to rescue a lucky horseshoe and who was in the forecastle when the Aleutian went down. The survivors were later taken aboard the coast and geodetic survey ship Surveyor and should reach Seward this afternoon, having been delayed en route by rough weather.
SURVEYOR REPORTS WRECK
The sinking of the Aleutian was reported to Captain F.H. Hardy, inspector of the coast and geodetic survey, by Captain Luken of the Surveyor. He said the force of the impact ripped great holes in the steel hull of the steamer, permitting the engine room to fill rapidly with water. The disaster is reported to have occurred in Larsen bay, near Uyak, on the Shelikof side of Kodiak island, but details of the wreck were not contained in the message. The weather is said to have been normal at the time.
NORD MAKING SURVEY
Captain John G. Nord, master of the Aleutian, returned to the scene of the wreck in a launch to make a survey of the spot to ascertain the possibility of salvaging the vessel.
The first message received in Seattle stated that the Aleutian had 250 passengers aboard but officials of the Alaska Steamship company later issued a statement in which it was claimed that there were only 15 passengers on the vessel and that the crew numbered 135 men.
FINEST IN SERVICE
The Aleutian formerly was on the Havana run and was valued at $1,000,000 by the company, being rated as the finest in the Alaska Service. Captain Nord, who was in command, had a record of more than 30 years in Alaska waters without a mishap.
The Aleutian entered Alaska service two years ago, during which time two accidents occurred before the fatal encounter with the Kodiak reef. On one trip a fire caused considerable damage and early this year the vessel was put out of commission by a rock in Southeastern Alaska waters. The vessel had a displacement of 7400 tons, a gross tonnage of 5863, measured 375 feet in length and had a beam of 50 feet, the exact dimensions of the steamer Yukon. The steamer Alaska is 366 feet in length. The Aleutian was built in Philadelphia in 1898.
FIRST CLASS MAIL LOST
All of the southbound mail which reached Seward from Anchorage and other interior points on Friday, with the exception of register, second class and parcel post matter, went down with the Aleutian, according to information received at the Anchorage post office today. The first class mail was placed aboard the boat presumably to give the mail clerk an opportunity to work it over while on the westward trip. The mail which was left at Seward to await the return of the steamer, southbound, will be taken out this evening by the Admiral Evans.
EVANS HAS FULL LOAD
The local office of the Pacific Steamship company has been advised that the Admiral Evans will carry a full load south from Seward this evening, all accommodations having been sold out to those who were awaiting the return of the Aleutian. The Evans will leave for the south this evening following the arrival of the train from the interior.
FLICKINGER ON BOARD
Reports received from Seward state that J.H. Flickinger, Seward agent for the Alaska Steamship company, was among those on board the Aleutian, having left Seward on Friday intending to make the round trip on the vessel. It is expected that he will return to Seward this afternoon with the other passengers aboard the Surveyor.
BODY IS SAFE
The body of Smith Huggins, which was shipped to Seward on Friday, by
the Anchorage Funeral Parlors, to be placed aboard the Aleutian for the
voyage south to the states, was held at Seward pending the return of the
Aleutian. It will go south on the Evans this evening.