Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pathfinder arrives safely home

The tug Pathfinder moored in Valdez at 12:56 a.m. after a 10-hour, 20-mile tow through Prince William Sound, the U.S. Coast Guard reports. An investigation continues into why the tug, used to help manage oil tankers, hit Bligh Reef on Wednesday. USCG photo


Anonymous said...

The Wreck of the S.S. SARATOGA, March 1908
by Steve K. Lloyd
Alaska has more than 30,000 miles of navigable coastline, and there is a long list of shipwrecks that are scattered from the deep fjords of the Southeast Panhandle to the silt-laden waters of Cook Inlet, and from the storm-swept fishing grounds of Bristol Bay to the ice-locked shores of the Beaufort Sea, far above the Arctic Circle. Despite the perils of the northern seas, ships have sailed and steamed with cargoes destined for the mines, villages and canneries of the far north. The men who proudly wore the uniforms of the early steamship companies—although brave and capable mariners—were not infallible. One of the ships lost in the waters of Alaska fell victim to a simple mistake made by the vessel’s captain, and the true story of the accident is told here for the first time.

The iron-hulled SARATOGA was built for the Ward Line in 1878 at the shipyard of John Roach and Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania. She was nearly 300 feet long, and was registered at 2,821 tons. The ship was purchased in 1906 by the Northwestern Steamship Company and added to its growing list of steamers plying the Alaska trade, carrying passengers and freight between Seattle and the northern ports of Juneau, Cordova, Valdez, Seldovia and Kodiak. On southbound trips, vessels would frequently carry copper ore from the mines at LaTouche and Katalla, delivering it to the smelters at Tacoma. In the spring of 1908 the S.S. SARATOGA was in command of Captain L.J. Schage, sailing under the banner of the Alaska Steamship Company, which had been reorganized that year when it merged with the Northwestern Steamship Company

Expert Sailing Master???

Anonymous said...

Wreck of the S.S. Olympia. Alaska. December 10, 1910.

This Alaska Steamship Company vessel, built in 1887, was originally named the Dunbar Castle. The vessel was stranded on Bligh reef in Prince William Sound south of Valdez on December 11, 1910. The ship ran aground on the reef in a heavy gale and was a total loss. The June and Donaldson rescued all of the passengers and brought them to Valdez. Twelve of the passengers had previously been rescued from the wrecked S.S. Northwestern and were considerably upset with their involvement in the second wreck.

Expert Sailing Master???

Anonymous said...

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are considering the possibility the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef March 24 while trying to sneak through a half mile wide passage between that well charted hazard and nearby Reef Island.

Navigation experts said it would be crazy to put a 987 foot tanker through the old steamship passage that runs there, but they acknowledged that such a maneuver is possible. They compare it to flying a plane under San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, a dangerous stunt that has been performed more than once.

Drucella Andersen, a spokeswoman for the NTSB in Valdez, said investigators consider it a "remote possibility" that the tanker was trying to shoot the gap between Reef Island and Bligh Reef, but they are investigating the possibility.

"We have thought of that," she said.

Exxon officials refused comment.

"We're simply not commenting anymore on just what the crew was doing," said spokesman Tom Cirigiliano.

Navigation experts said it is unthinkable that someone would try to take a tanker through the narrow gap, but they said such a maneuver would help explain the position of the grounded ship. The ship hit the northeast corner of the Bligh Reef shoal and eventually came to a stop atop the reef.

It sits more than 11|2 miles from the designated tanker lane, but only a short distance west of the old steamship passage. Water depths in the passage range from 84 feet to more than 180 feet sufficiently deep for the tanker, which draws 641|2 feet when fully loaded. The passage is only slightly narrower than the gap between Middle Rock and the shoreline in Valdez Narrows, a shallow water hazard negotiated daily by tankers.

"You could go through there," said John Denham, a California Maritime Academy instructor, of the Reef Island passage. "A guy could take a ship through there."

But why?

Because your an Expert Sailing Master???

Anonymous said...

When will the real Expert Sailing Master, please Stand UP?

Verdict and Sentence
in the Court-Martial
of the Bounty Mutineers

Tuesday, 18th September, 1782

Image at left: The last page of the verdict in the Bounty court-martial, including the signatures of the members of the Court.

The Prisoners brought in and Audience admitted.
The President having asked the Prisoners if they, or any of them, had anything more to offer to the Court in their Defences, Mr. Haywood produced a Certificate of his Birth which is hereto annexed, and the others not having anything more to offer, the Court was cleared and agreed:

That the Charges had been proved against the said Peter Heywood, James Morrison, Thomas Ellison, Thomas Burkitt, John Mill–each of them to suffer Death by being hanged by the Neck, on board such of His Majesty’s Ship or Ships of War, at such Time or Times and at such Place or Places, as the Commissioners for executing the Office of Lord High Admiral of Great Britain and Ireland etc. or any three of them, for the Time being, should in Writing, under their Hands direct; but the Court, in Consideration of various Circumstances, did humbly and most earnestly recommend the said Peter Heywood and James Morrison to His Majesty’s Royal Mercy–and the Court further agreed That the Charges had not been proved against the said Charles Norman, Joseph Coleman, Thomas McIntosh and Michael Byrn, and did adjudge them and each of them to be acquitted.

The Court was opened and Audience admitted and Sentence passed accordingly, after which William Muspratt delivered to the Court, a paper Writing, which was read by the Judge Advocate as follows:

To the Right Honble. Samuel Lord Hood, President, and the Members of the Court Martial Assembled on board His Majesty’s Ship the “Duke” for the Trial of William Muspratt and others for the Mutiny and Desertion.

My Lord and Gentlemen,

By the King’s Command I have been tried by the Honorable Court and stand convicted of Mutiny and Desertion.

I haven not the most distant Idea of arraigning the Justice of the Court, but I have to lament that the Practice and usage of a Court Martial, should be so different from the Practice of all Criminal Courts of Justice on Shore, as that, by the one I have deen debarred calling Witnesses whose Evidence I have Reason to believe, would have tended to have proved my Innocence, whereas by the other I should have been permitted to call those very Witnesses on my behalf. This Difference, my Lord, is dreadful to the Subject and fatal to me.