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San Juan Archipelago, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 650, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

20 May 2018


The able seaman from the
American Mail Line's  President Madison,
who swam a line ashore to the rocky
 shore of Amatignak, AK to rescue
 3 survivors of the wreck of
the freighter SS NEVADA.
He is shown after arriving Seattle,
8 October 1932.

Photo by Acme News
from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©
Heroes of a North Pacific disaster from
This photo shows members of the lifeboat crew who rescued
James Thorsen, Lucena Decaney & Fritz Dewall,
survivors of the freighter NEVADA.
arrived in Seattle, 5 Oct. 1932.
The third officer, E.J. Stull who commanded the lifeboat,
is seen standing in uniform.
Eddie Blomberg is seen in the center of the back row
without a life preserver.

Click image to enlarge.
Photo by Acme News

from the archives of the Saltwater People Historical Society©

The American Mail Liner PRESIDENT MADISON arrived in Seattle on 5 October 1932 with three survivors and the lifeboat crew who rescued James Thorsen, Lucena Decaney, and Fritz Dewall. They were the only survivors of the ill-fated freighter NEVADA, wrecked on the rocky shores of Amatignak Island in the Aleutians. Thirty-four were lost.
      The steel steam screw NEVADA, Master T. W. Johanson had stranded at Amatignak, AK. She departed Longview, WA, 15 Sept. 1932 bound Yokohama, Japan. Carrying a 6,648-ton cargo of lumber, flour, and general merchandise. 
      SS OREGON MARU responded to radio distress signal; proceeded to wreck but the seas prevented the rescue of men who had washed ashore. SS PRESIDENT MADISON arrived 29 Sept and rescued 3 crew members from Amatignak Island. The USCG HAIDA arrived on scene 4 Oct. and continued the search of vicinity without results. The NEVADA and cargo were total losses. Value of cargo unknown. Vessel value was $255,000.

S.S. NEVADA (219522)
Lost, 27 September 1932
Location, 51 16 N 179 06 W
Chart, 16460
Tonnage, 5,645 G. 3517 N. 
Age, 12 yrs.
Owner, States Steamship Co of Portland

Source, USCG Report 18 October 1932 at Portland, OR;
AlaskaShipwreck.com; and Saltwater People Historical Society.

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