USCG Memorial Service MLB Triumph, Mermaid and Sea King 2012

The Triumph as she appears on our shipwreck chart

The 52 foot MLB Triumph as she appears on our shipwreck chart Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard

From Jeff Rusiecki, CPO USCG RET.

“The Memorial Service for the USCG MLB Triumph, F/V Mermaid, F/V Sea King, and the USCG UTB 41332 will be held on Saturday, January the 14th, 2012. The time for the service is set for 10 am.
People wishing to attend are asked to meet in Ilwaco, Washington, at the Cape Disappointment Coast Guard Station on the Mess Deck prior to the start of the service.”

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Dead Reckoning at the USCG Regional Exam Center in Portland

Hanging with the Coast Guard

Hanging with the Coast Guard

Thanks, Tony, for these photos of your new Dead Reckoning the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart hanging in your office at the United States Coast Guard Regional Exam Center in Portland, Oregon.
Tony has to say:
“Hello Bill,
Well I got my Dead Reckoning piece hung up in my office here with the Coast Guard Regional Exam Center in Portland; it looks really awesome and I am very pleased with it. Thanks! You did a great job on it.
Dead Reckoning office photo hanging with the Coast Guard
I have attached two photos of the piece on my wall; they aren’t the best photos as my office is some what small and hard to get a good shot, but at least you can get an idea of what it looks like; everyone here really likes it as well.

It was good meeting you and I hope to get down to Astoria one of these days again and will try to look you up if I can; you are also welcome to come here to my office in Portland if you would like any time.

Thanks again,
Tony Sellers”

F/V Sea King, the F/V Mermaid and the USCGC Triumph

January 11, 1991 saw the loss of the fishing vessel Sea King on the Columbia River bar. The 75-foot boat capsized and sank while under tow. David Haynes was one of two fishermen, and one Coast Guardsman (Charles Sexton) died during the rescue. 

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard features a list of lost fishing vessels from the Oregon and Washington coasts (click to see it on a chart)

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard features a list of lost fishing vessels from the Oregon and Washington coasts (click to see it on a chart)

Thirty years earlier, January 12, 1961, the F/V Mermaid lost their rudder and required rescue, resulting in the loss of five Coast Guard crewmen, the two Mermaid crew, the vessel Mermaid, the USCG Motor Lifeboat Triumph and the CG Utility boat 40564 in one of the worst tragedies of the Pacific Graveyard’s history.

Links:
Author brings background to Coast Guard tragedy Olympian story on Gary Hudson’s self-published book, They Had to Go Out
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard, chart featuring shipwrecks and lost fishing vessels of the area
Historic daily events in Coast Guard history, listed by month at the Patriot Files Dedicate to the preservation of military history
Charles W. Sexton (Coast Guardsman lost during the Sea King rescue)

Conquering the (Columbia) River

Pacific Graveyard Week is happening now, and “Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard” is part of

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard  $500 as shown

Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard $500 as shown

the happenings.
Bill has loaned the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park a sunken ship chart to be hung in the “Conquering the River” exhibit where there are historic artifacts from the area’s wrecks displayed in rooms overlooking the Pacific Graveyard itself.

Other events throughout the region include tours of North Head Lighthouse in addition to the exhibit at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center which will run through December at Cape D.

Ft. Columbia State Park is hosting a sea shanty camp on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ft. Stevens State Park in Oregon is hosting free, ranger-led talks from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the wreck of the Peter Iredale.  The Iredale wrecked Oct. 25, 1906.

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria  will host “An evening of Maritime Music,” featuring the instructors of the “Sea Shanty Camp of the Columbia,” at 7-9 p.m. Saturday. Admission for this event is free.

Links:
NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Dead Reckoning slideshow
Tours, displays reveal dramatic “Graveyard.”
Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment
Columbia River Maritime Museum

Astoria, Oregon historic photographs

 These five will join another set of framed, historic photographs and of course a Dead Reckoning shipwreck chart that Bill built as customs to hang in the Clatsop County Courthouse in Astoria, Oregon.

Various images depicting scenes from Astorias rich, historic past

Various images depicting scenes from Astoria's rich, historic past - a custom, part of a set to accompany a framed, shipwreck chart

The first three with framed chart

The first three with framed chart

Nobody frames history like we do!
Wander on over to the website and see what’s available.

We have Oregon, Washington local historic events and autographed, entertainment events with national, even global appeal, all made right here in Astoria, OR.

 

Email: bill@nwlimited.com or phone 503-338-6056

The Beeswax wreck: First European wreck on the NW Coast

From the olyblog.net:
A public presentation by archaeologist Scott S. Williams

Monday, Oct. 20, 2008 at Noon

State Capital Museum and Outreach Center, 211 – 21st Ave. SW, Olympia
(360) 753-2580

Sometime in the late 17th century a Manila Galleon, carrying tons of beeswax and other cargo destined for the colonies of New Spain, wrecked on the Oregon coast near Nehalem Spit.
Clatsop Indian oral histories tell of the shipwreck and its survivors. Over time the Indians incorporated the cargo into their trading and daily lives. This presentation by Scott S. Williams (Cultural Resources Program manager at WSDOT) will discuss on-going investigations to locate the mysterious wreck and document it.

This public program is part of the “Adventures in Northwest History and Archaeology” series at the State Capital Museum.

Admission to each lecture is $2.

You are welcome to bring lunch. Coffee and tea will be served.

Links:
Oly Blog article
Dead Reckoning the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart at NW Limited…History in Vogue

USCG Pterodactyls come to see the Graveyard

(reposted from The Daily Astorian’s website):
Astoria hosts Coast Guard’s Pterodactyl Roost
Annual meeting brings pilots and other flight-crew members to view the Graveyard of the Pacific

By KARA HANSEN
The Daily Astorian

About 200 U.S. Coast Guard aviators descended on Astoria as the annual Pterodactyl Roost began Thursday.

The annual meeting of the Coast Guard Aviation Association, a fraternal organization also known as Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl, brings together pilots and other flight-crew members for four days of sight-seeing at the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Vice Adm. Vivien Crea, vice commandant of the Coast Guard, will also attend part of the event. Second in command in the Coast Guard, Crea is the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. military.

Coast Guard Group Astoria competed against Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii for the opportunity to play host to this year’s Roost, said Lt. Adam Davenport, an Astoria pilot.

“We sold the Pterodactyls on Astoria by showcasing its scenery, charm and high probability of breathtaking search and rescue,” he said, noting Coast Guard members cross the country to train in the rough waters at Ilwaco, Wash.’s National Motor Lifeboat School and at Astoria’s Advanced Helicopter Rescue School. “We are a destination for SAR training and experience for the entire Coast Guard, both afloat and air assets.”

Those attending the Roost will visit historic sites such as Fort Clatsop and the Doughboy Monument and filming locations from the “Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” movies, sample Oregon seafood and wine and explore Washington’s North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment, overlooking the treacherous Columbia River bar.

They’ll also get to check out some of the Coast Guard’s newest and recently updated aircraft: the new MH-60T Thunderhawk helicopter, the HC-144 Casa search plane, an MH-65 helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., a C-130 plane from Air Station Sacramento, Calif., and one of Air Station Astoria’s three HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

The event was coordinated by a committee of Coast Guard Lt. Rob Potter, Lt. Brooks Crawford, Rear Adm. Ed Nelson, Capt. Rod Leland, Cmdr. Ron Larsen and Cmdr. Malcolm Smith under the direction of Capt. Peter Troedsson, Coast Guard Group Astoria’s commander. It ends Sunday with a business meeting.

Davenport said the organization offers numerous benefits for members, mainly by helping them stay connected with Coast Guard aviation, enjoy camaraderie of former and current colleagues, network for future jobs “and promote recognition and historical preservation of all things Coast Guard aviation.”

All 19 pilots at Air Station Astoria have been members at some point. “We get invited to join upon receiving our wings,” Davenport said.

Links:
Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard at NW Limited…History in VogueTM
Article at Daily Astorian

Tales from the chart – The Erria (interview by D. Kanally)

The Fire Aboard the Erria – December 1951
An Interview with Don Fastabend by David Kanally.
This interview and additional information on the Astoria Marine Construction Company and Joe Dyer’s boats may be found at Columbia River One Design
Original archival materials are stored at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, OR.
Photos courtesy of Cliff West.

The Erria under Tow after the fire was put out

The Erria under Tow after the fire was put out

(Ed note: On December 20th, 1951, the Danish Freighter Erria caught fire while anchored in the Columbia River along the shores of East Astoria , Oregon . Eleven souls were lost in the fire. Don Fastabend, owner of Astoria Marine Construction Company (AMCCO), was a machinist lead for the firm at the time, working at their Tongue Point facility. He was called, along with many of his colleagues, to help fight the blaze. His account of the dramatic incident follows.)

“The Erria had been in Portland and was headed out to sea, but the Columbia Bar was rough that night, so they decided to anchor in the river near East Astoria until things calmed down. About 1 or 2 a.m. on December 20th, they started to pick anchor and something went wrong. Some people believe that the wiring to the motor on the anchor windlass caught fire. That wiring ran through the #3 hold, and that was the worst burned of the whole ship.In any case the fire was discovered. Erria was a combination freight and passenger vessel, so there were crew and passengers aboard. They immediately launched the lifeboats and rowed to the nearby Coast Guard station. The Coast Guard and the Navy responded and squirted water on the fire for a while, but pulled off by 4 or 5 o’clock the next afternoon. The ship had listed pretty badly, and the fire was still going strong.

Smoke is billowing not from the fire, but from an auxiliary motor used to power the anchor windlass. Bob West photo, 1952.

Smoke is billowing not from the fire, but from an auxiliary motor used to power the anchor windlass. Bob West photo, 1952.

A salvage company was called in, and their representative, Captain Whitmore, showed up in town and inquired at the Chamber of Commerce, looking for which companies controlled the local labor market. AMCCO had about 400-500 people working then, so was a prime labor source. The word went out at the Tongue Point facility, “Don’t go home tonight at quitting time.”

Whitmore arrived on the scene at Tongue Point and began asking where CO2 could be obtained. We knew that the Navy kept CO2 in a hangar at Pier 3 at Tongue Point . So Whitmore called the officer on duty…it was the end of the day and all the brass had gone home, so the duty officer was probably an Ensign. Whitmore introduced himself as Captain Whitmore (a rank possibly attained in the Merchant Marine), but the young Ensign took him for a Navy four striper!So the Ensign called out the duty section and the CO2 was promptly delivered to Whitmore. This worked so well, that our boss, Johnny Cederberg, thought Whitmore should try the same tactic to get a vessel to carry the CO2 and the crew out to the Erria.

It worked again, and before we knew it we had a LCM 6 (a 56-foot landing craft) with fire monitors and a Navy crew!

The Erria anchored just off East Astoria. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Erria anchored just off East Astoria. Bob West photo, 1952.

We rigged up a manifold arrangement for the CO2 tanks that allowed us to change out tanks and keep the CO2 flowing. We journeyed out and came alongside the Erria. The side of the ship was just glowing red with heat in the engine room, where the hottest part of the fire was. We played water with the fire monitor on the side of the ship ’til it cooled enough that we could hold the bow of the M boat against it.

We burned a 3” hole in the side of the ship and started dumping CO2 inside the ship. By morning the engine room fire was out. We came back ashore for a while at that point, to get more CO2. There wasn’t any more from the Navy supply, but we knew there was CO2 aboard Navy ships, so we began “acquiring” more.

By about 8:30 or so, the Lieutenant Commander in charge of repair operations at the shipyard came up to me and asked me what we were doing, so I told him about what we were up to. He also wondered who the hell Whitmore was, and pretty soon, Whitmore was gone and they took the landing craft back and we all went home and got some sleep.

The next day we all met at the dock of Arrow Tug and Barge and met up with Mr. Martinoni, who was the president of the salvage company. He stayed with us until the bodies were recovered and the fire was put out.

We used a barge to haul pumps out, and we pulled alongside the Erria and began pumping water into and out of the ship. We’d feel along for hot spots, burn a hole and pour in water. The fire was mostly between decks.

I found the first two bodies by the doorway on the main promenade deck, two young women crew members.

The other people who died were sitting in chairs in the lounge just off the boat deck. We figured, since there was no power to the davits that the crew had to lower the lifeboats down to deck level manually, and these people were waiting for that operation to take place, and were overcome by smoke and gasses. One of them was trying to get out on his hands and knees, but got trapped in a corner. Another guy tried to go back to his stateroom to get something, and never made it back. We pretty much swept him up with a broom.

The deck was all teak, and heavily oiled, and there were a lot of hardwoods used in the construction, and lots of varnish, so that would make for bad fumes and gasses.

We only saved one hold, hold #5.

Eventually we got a lot of the water pumped out and the ship leveled out.

The Erria was quite a ship. She even had a swimming pool. One of the holds, hold #4, was refrigerated and was full of apples. The fire got into the insulation of the refrigerated spaces and caused us to wonder what would have happened if all those apples would have burst at once!

We all worked day and night, with not very much sleep, to get that fire out. I’ll never forget that I earned $600 the week of Christmas. And our normal wage back then was $1.85 an hour, so $600 was very big money for that time.

The Erria being towed by the Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Erria being towed by the Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

Anyway, the Erria was eventually towed to dry dock in Portland , to be completely checked out to be sure she was seaworthy to be towed back to Europe for rebuilding . She was brought back down to Astoria, and anchored at just about the same spot where the fire happened, while she waited for her tow by the tug Zwarte Zee.

The Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

The Zwarte Zee. Bob West photo, 1952.

She was rebuilt as a freight-only vessel and made it back to the Columbia River once that I know of. I remember one more funny thing: When we got to the crew quarters in the aft section of the ship, we found a stash of Danish 9% beer, which was pretty darn good. When the crew came back and found out what had happened to their beer, they were pretty mad at us, so we went out and bought them some Lucky Lager. They gave it one taste and weren’t very happy. They said “This stuff is like Kool-Aid!”
Links:
(and thank you) The original story hosted on Columbia River One Design’s website
Columbia River Maritime Museum

Astoria Regatta 2008

At 7 pm tonight, August 6, 2008, coronation events will kick off the Regatta festival here in Astoria.
Sailboat races, children’s parade, USCG SAR demonstration, Bumble Bee Cannery worker’s reunion, historic home tours, concerts and fireworks over the Columbia River are a sampling of the events planned as part of the 4-day celebration.

The Columbia River is also the center of the Pacific Graveyard, and this small detail area of NW Limited...History in Vogue's shipwreck chart illustrates that.  Charts are available by calling 503-338-6056 or email bill@nwlimited.com

The Columbia River is also the center of the Pacific Graveyard, and this small detail area of NW Limited...History in Vogue's shipwreck chart illustrates the why. Charts are available by calling 503-338-6056 or email bill@nwlimited.com

What is the Regatta Festival? 
A celebration of the river and it’s history intertwined with the people who have lived, live and will live here along the waterfront. 

The lighthouse which used to occupy Desdemona Sands just West of the present-day Astoria-Megler bridge

The lighthouse which used to occupy Desdemona Sands just West of the present-day Astoria-Megler bridge

Times change, but the river itself has remained constant in its own ever-changing landscape.  The types of boats and ships that traverse the currents is different, and navigation aids slow their losses.  Commerce threatens to change it drastically, and development always perches on a precarious edge of greed versus aesthetics. 
One thing will never change, and those are the names and dates recorded; the history that has dictated our arrival here and now, and which is being made at this very moment:


HAPPY REGATTA
from NW Limited…History in VogueTM!!

Events wrap up Sunday.
Swing by Astoria’s Sunday Market to our booth across from the Elliot Hotel/in front of Lucy’s Books (look for the green awning) to purchase
Dead Reckoning for yourself.

 

Links:
Astoria Regatta Website (schedule and information available)
114th Regatta Festival at North Coast Oregon

Dead Reckoning radio ad

218 years of “Semper Paratus” – The USCG

On August 4, 1790, the United States Coast Guard was established (as part of the US Treasury).
From the United States Coast Guard “About Us” web page:
“The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is a military branch of the United States involved in maritime law, mariner assistance, and search and rescue, among other duties of coast guards elsewhere. One of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and the smallest armed service of the United States, its stated mission is to protect the public, the environment, and the United States economic and security interests in any maritime region in which those interests may be at risk, including international waters and America’s coasts, ports, and inland waterways.”

Here in the Pacific Graveyard, many owe their lives and livelihoods to the “Always Ready” United States Coast Guard.

The United States Coast Guard rescues an unknown fishing vessel (image used by permission)

The United States Coast Guard rescues an unknown fishing vessel (image used by permission)

On our Dead Reckoning of the Pacific Graveyard shipwreck chart, they are honored in the form of an insignia depicting the official seal and the Cape Disappointment “Guardians of the Pacific Graveyard” where the National Motor Lifeboat School is housed (and with good reason, the Columbia River Bar is one of the world’s most deadly crossings).
A USPS stamp dated 1945 commemorating the USCG, and historic photographs are included in this gathering of maritime history.
We at NW Limited…History in VogueTM thank the USCG for their assistance in creating our chart, and for their continuing support.
Happy 218 years!
The Motor Lifeboat School at Cape Disappointment is getting a new boat to celebrate, and take them into the future of lifesaving and marine safety:
Links:
United States Coast Guard (official website)
History in VogueTM (our website, where you can order a shipwreck chart for your favorite Coastie!)
Coast Guard Station Tillamook Bay celebrates 100 years
Coast Guard gloats over boat; birthday gift will boost safety at Cape D
Coast Guard Cutter Steadfast returns home