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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.

23 March 2016

❖ GOLDEN FOREST ashore ❖

Aground Cape Ilktugitak, AK. 
Captain L. C. Drewson.

Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
One of the steamships engaged in Pacific trade purchased jointly by the Matson Navigation Co & American-Hawaiian Steamship Co and operated by a holding company known as Oceanic & Oriental Navigation Co. Approximately half operated in the Oriental trade and half in the Australia/New Zealand service. Service was maintained from Columbia River, BC, and Puget Sound ports, as well as from CA. (H.W. McCurdy's Marine History of the PNW.)

      The 5,658 t steamship GOLDEN FOREST stranded and was lost at Cape Ilktugitak on 5 September 1929. The ship had departed Akutan 30 August, bound for Victoria, BC, with 34 crew and 6,413 tons or $300,000 worth of cargo. Fog and strong currents were blamed for the casualty. 
Master L.C. Drewson:
      "Vessel struck rock at Avatak Island, AK on 24 July 1929, when bound from San Fran, CA to Yokohama, Japan. Had diverted course of ship to meet USS HAIDA at Unimak Pass on account of sick member of crew. Vessel was badly damaged and was being convoyed by steamer SALVAGE KING that had been sent up from Victoria for repairs. We were proceeding along the coast via Seward and Cape Spencer and thence via inside passage." SALVAGE KING and motor vessel took off crew of GOLDEN FOREST and took us to Kukak AK."
      The GOLDEN FOREST, valued at $300,000, was a total loss, as was her cargo. The vessel can still be seen on the rocks slowly rusting away at Cape Ilktugitak on the west side of the Shelikof Straits. Insurance was unknown by the master at the time of this casualty but another report was filed by the owners in San Francisco in October.
Source of data: USCG report of casualty 16 September 1929 at Seward.
Posted on Alaska Shipwrecks

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