Astoria, OR (Off Shore) Fishing Boats Sink, May 1880


Astoria, May 6th. -- The steam tender to the fishing boats has just arrived from Cape Disappointment. She reports that a sudden southwest squall at 6:30 p.m. on the 3d instant capsized six boats instantly. Two men were swept away and drowned, but the rest succeeded in clinging to the boats. The steam tender Rip Van Winkle, Captain Al Harris, laying at the Cape, immediately got up steam, and succeeded in rescuing four boats with their men. The other two boats, with the men clinging to them, drifted into the breakers. Yesterday morning three boats were seen by the lighthouse keeper going out over the bar bottom up. Eighteen boats were blown ashore between the Cape and Scarboro Hill. The barkentine Webfoot reported two fishing boats capsized with men clinging to them. Captain Harris succeeded in crossing the channel, and at No.4 buoy picked up both men and boats. It is feared that from fifteen to twenty fishermen have been drowned during the gales of the last two days. The little steamers could not reach Astoria. The fishermen are enthusiastic over the brave conduct of Captain Al Harris, and will present him with a testimonial. Above Tongue Point several fishing boats were anchored. The hurricane blew a large lot of drift wood violently against them and capsized the boats. Six men were drowned.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union California 1880-05-07