U.S.R.C. Tahoma, Lost 1914, Aleutian Islands

Vessel Particulars

Hull: Steel

Dimensions: 191 x 32 x 14
Tonnage:
Power: Triple-expansion steam engine
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Co.
Launched: Camden, New Jersey, 1908
Owner: United States Revenue Cutter Service

Circumstances of Loss


Revenue Cutter was on her regular patrol, which carried her a thousand miles from one end of the Aleutian Chain to the other. At 9 p.m. on September 20, 1914 she steamed a course off Buldir Island in calm seas when she ran aground on an uncharted reef and began taking on water. After attempts to extricate the Tahoma from the rocks failed, the ship was intentionally sunk in shallow water to prevent it from turning over in the swell. Captain Richard Crisp evacuated the Tahoma's passengers and crew into six small boats and rowed toward the nearest land, Agattu Island. By the time all the survivors were rescued, some of them had been adrift in the vast reaches of the North Pacific for more than 4 days.


casualty Details

Incident Type: Grounded
Date of Casualty: 20 September 1014
Severity: Total Loss
Crew Aboard: 79
Passengers Aboard: 8
Recovery: Salvage Impossible
Captain: Richard O. Crisp
Wreck Location: Unknown


Wreck Investigation


At the time of the accident, the government charts showed water more than 3,000 feet deep at the spot where Tahoma grounded. Today, that obstruction is shown on charts as "Tahoma Reef". Due to the extremely remote and exposed location, it is unlikely that any divers have attempted to locate the scattered remains of the revenue cutter underwater.

Explore the Tahoma Shipwreck


A detailed account of the Tahoma 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.