Torrent Shipwreck Project
Imagine a summer day 139 years ago.
A wooden bark is sailing close along the rugged, uncharted coast of
Cook Inlet, Alaska. The mariners aboard have no sonar, no GPS, no depth
sounder, no radar, and no emergency radio. Crashing waves break along
a ridge of black reefs a mile offshore, and the square-rigged canvas
flaps weakly as a strong tidal current sweeps the 641-ton sailing bark
toward the white-rimmed rocks and destruction.
The Torrent carried a crew of about 15 civilian sailors
under the command of Captain Richard Carleton. The US Army contingent
consisted of expedition commander Lt. John McGilvray, a handful of his
officers, and 125 soldiers comprising Battery F of the Army's Second
Infantry division. The company also included four women, two servants,
and 11 children.
The Torrent is one of Alaska’s most historically
important shipwrecks. She was carrying more than a hundred US Army soldiers
of Battery F, Second Artillery division; men who had been sent north
to protect American interests in the Cook Inlet region following the
American purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867. The loss of the Torrent—and
the supplies and provisions she carried when she sank—changed
the course of Alaska history.
Our upcoming expedition has attracted the attention of The National
Geographic Society, and although their decision whether to participate
with The Torrent Shipwreck Project is still months away, one
of our previous shipwreck discoveries—the passenger liner SS Aleutian,
wrecked off Kodiak Island, Alaska in 1929—was profiled in the
March 2004 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine. Whether
sponsored by a national network or produced by our team members, a filmed
documentary of the Torrent discovery is a definite possibility.
We are actively seeking the support of select
companies whose products we already use and endorse. We invite these
leaders in their respective markets to support the expedition through
in-kind donations of equipment, goods and services to The Torrent
contents Copyright © 1997-2008 by Steve Lloyd. All rights reserved.
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