S.S. Edith, Lost 1915, Gulf of Alaska

Vessel Particulars

Hull: Iron

Dimensions: 276.4 x 37.3 x 27.4
Tonnage: 2,369 gross
Power: Coal-fired Steam
Builder:
Launched: Sunderland, England, 1882
Owner: Alaska Steamship Company

Circumstances of Loss


Outbound from Latouche, Alaska for Tacoma, Washington with 2,746 tons of high-grade copper ore. Cargo shifted and vessel developed a list, which worsened as efforts to restack canvas sacks filled with ore failed, and the holds began taking on water.


Crew abandoned ship while driftig 48 miles east of Cape St. Elias, and were later picked up by the Mariposa (Captain O'Brien. Efforts to take the Edith in tow were unsuccessful, and the ship was abandoned

casualty Details

Incident Type: Foundered
Date of Casualty: 30 August 1915
Severity: Total Loss
Crew Aboard: 39
Passengers Aboard: 0
Recovery: Not Attempted
Captain: C.B. McMullen
Wreck Location: Unknown


Wreck Investigation


A marine court of inquiry exonerated Captain McMullen, and ruled that improper loading of the cargo was responsible for the Edith's loss.


As a result of this accident, the mine operator at Latouche changed the method with which its bulk ore was dried and loaded.


Several modern accounts of the accident make reference to the ship eventualy drifting ashore and breaking up. However, I have never located a reliable contemporary account confirming it.

Explore the Edith Shipwreck


A detailed account of the Edith shipwreck written by Steve Lloyd was published in the Sea Chest, the journal of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. Click the page on the right to open a PDF of Steve's article in a new window.