Wrangel, AK Steamer STAR OF BENGAL Wreck, Oct 1908
SHIP SINKS OFF ALASKA, DEAD NUMBER 110
Star of Bengal Wrecked on Rocks of Coronation Island.
BROKE INTO THREE PIECES
Details of Disaster on Alaskan Island -- Vessel a Total Loss. Only the Ends of the Masts Showing Above the Water -- Tale of a Survivor.
Wrangel, Alaska. -- The Star of Bengal is a total loss. Captain FARRAR, of the tug Hattie Gage, gives this account of the disaster on the rocks of Coronation Island:
"As we ran into the gale we could see we were making leeway and drifting toward Coronation Island. The other tug, the Kayak, was light and could do nothing. The Hattie Gage could not handle the ship alone. At 4 o'clock the Star of Bengal drifted into a narrow bight and we could see land on both sides abreast."
"We sounded and found eight fathoms. We could see the vessel dimly by the phosphorous rocks that were all around. We cut the towline and steamed out into open water. We could not see anything in the driving rain except one blue light burning on the ship. The storm increased and the tugs steamed to Shipley Bay, twenty-six miles away."
The total number of lives lost was 110. There were 137 people on board. The bodies recovered and buried were those of BENJAMIN JOHNSON, SIGUARD NELSON, ERIC PIERSON, WILLIAM PERISCHKE, PETER PETERSON, JOHN PETERSON, OLAF PETERSON, EINON SWENSON, CHARLES BUCHANAN, CARL BORE, JOSEPH GRIFFIN, ANDREW HANSON, FRANK HEALY, NORMAN HAWKINS, and G. HENDRICKSON.
The ship sank, after breaking into three pieces, according to the survivors. These tell of getting a boat off the doomed craft and effecting a landing. They helped several ashore and pulled Captain WAGNER out of the wreckage. He could not speak. The breeches buoy rigged to a tree, but the ship was swaying so that the line was alternately loose and tight, making it impossible to use.
The ship's books and papers were found on the beach. One man had matches and a fire was built with kerosene from the wreck. The fire kept the survivors from freezing.
The Cranbury Press New Jersey 1908-10-02
HUNDRED AND TEN PERSONS PERISH.
LOST THEIR LIVES WHEN THE STAR OF BENGAL WENT ASHORE ON CORONATION ISLAND.
STRUCK A GALE AND TUGS TOWING VESSEL WERE TOO SMALL TO HANDLE SHIP -- AFTER STRIKING BROKE UP.
Wrangel, Alaska, Sept. 23. -- One hundred and ten out of a total of 137 persons aboard the cannery ship Star of Bengal were drowned last Sunday afternoon when the vessel was torn from the hold of protecting tugs and dashed ashore at Helm Point, at the southeast end of Coronation Island. The news was brought by the tug Hattie Gage, Capt. Farrer, which carried the survivors, 27 in all. The survivors before leaving Coronation Island, buried the bodies of 15 white men on the beach.
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