Humboldt Bar, CA Steamer CHILKAT Capsized, Apr 1899



Eureka, April 4. -- One of the worst wrecks, as regards loss of life, in the history of Humboldt Bar, occurred this morning. The little steamer Chilkat, with nineteen persons on board, left Eureka at 10 o'clock. Before noon she was bottom side up on the bar and ten of those aboard were dead. Of the nineteen on the vessel thirteen were officers and seamen and six were passengers. Of the passengers two were saved and four lost, and of the crew seven were saved and six lost.
The Chilkat left Eureka at 10:20 o'clock and arrived at the bar at 11:17. She proceeded to cross and was almost over the bar when a big sea struck her forward, carried away the wheelhouse and the wheel, disabling her steering gear, and smashed her upper works generally. The captain called for a block to construct a temporary steering gear, but before anything could be done the helpless boat fell into the trough of the sea and the men came piling up from below with the information that the water had poured in and put out the fires.
The ship was entirely helpless and another breaker went over her. Everybody got up on the hurricane deck and an attempt was made to get the small boats clear. The breakers followed each other fast, and the fourth and fifth struck the ship in such a way as to turn her upside down.
The captain had ordered those aboard to put on life preservers. All were on deck except O'BRIEN, who was lost overboard. The North Fork was about 150 yards ahead. The Chilkat careened toward the shore side and remained partly turned over for five minutes before she turned turtle.
The drowned:
Captain B. E. ANDERSON.
E. CAPALLA, cook.
A. JOHNSON, seaman.
M. O. BUZAN, of San Francisco, passenger.
PETER DAY, of Ferndale, passenger.
E. O'BRIEN, of Eureka, passenger.
E. J. BOLAND, of Eureka, passenger.
Second officer and two seamen, names unknown.
The saved:
PETER JOHNSON, first officer.
WILLIAM PACKARD, chief engineer.
CLYDE LIGHTNER, assistant engineer.
T. C. BOBALL, steward.
HOWARD SMITH, passenger.
A. C. MORSER, passenger.
PETER HANSEN, fireman.
Three boats were launched. The first reached the North Fork. The second capsized, but its occupants reached shore. The third was never heard from again. The saved passengers were HOWARD SMITH of Scotia, this county and A. C. MORSER of Oakland. MORSER is a carpenter and his home is at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Orange Street, where his family resides. He had been working near Ferndale for several months.
The lost passengers are M. O. BUZAN, PETER FRY, E. O'BRIAN and E. J. BOLAND. BUZAN was a tight-rope performer, and it is suposed his home was in San Francisco. Little is known of him here. FRY was manager of a creamery at Ferndale and was a well-known citizen of this place. E. O'BRIEN was a Eureka boy. He was going to San Francisco to take charge of an elevator in the Wells-Fargo building. E. J. BOLAND was a printer. He came to Eureka about a month ago and had been employed on the Times. Where his home was is not known. He had worked in San Francisco in several of the big job offices.

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