As I was closing the book on the LaGasa saga on this blog, I did a little Google search and I found that another ship had sunk…
At 8:00 p.m. on Saturday February 29, 1936 the American gas screw Alaskan foundered “about two miles north of Slocum Inlet, Stephens Passage, in about 115 fathoms of water.” According to her master and owner, Arthur J. Lagasa of Juneau “…the line shaft carried away just forward of the tail shaft coupling allowing tail shaft to slip back out of stuffing box and stern bearing permitting water to enter. Unable to pull tail shaft back in again due to sleeves being outside of shaft.”
“Choppy seas would spin wheel which would force caulking from around the shaft. Water finally got so high was unable to do anything more.”
“Took Alaskan about 8 hours to sink during all of which time efforts were made by myself to keep her afloat until help could arrive. Coast Guard Cutter Talapoosa went out to make search at scene of foundering about 1:30 a.m. Sunday March 1, 1936, and continued search until about 3:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon, without success of locating vessel.”
“Vessel may tip over where sunk in such a manner that hatch cover might lift off and salvage gear be disenlodged, permitting vessel to raise of itself; such chances are small.”
“Attempted to beach Alaskan with small gas boat Nip&Tuck, without success.”
The Alaskan, her two crew, and cargo of diving equipment (salvage gear) departed from Hobart Bay, Frederick Sound, bound for Juneau. The weather during the incident is reported to have been “about 20 miles wind; choppy seas; clear water.” Although the crew was saved, her three tons of cargo valued at $1,000 and the vessel valued at $5,000 were total losses.
Mapping and Location : Southeastern Alaska 58 09 N 134 05 W Chart 17300
Additional Information : Tonnage 29 Gross 19 Net, Built 1912, Registration Juneau, ON 209643, Insurance none.
Sources : 1. U S Customs Wreck Report 2. H W McCurdy Marine History of the Pacific Northwest (1966) Pg 449
This newspaper clipping make more sense now.
There were two ships that sunk, one in 1935, and one in 1936. Arthur lost everything twice in two years.