SS City of Chester
Arriving from Asia, the RMS. Oceanic while entering the harbor of San Francisco collided with the steamship SS City of Chester that was en-route to Eureka, California. The collision took place on the foggy morning of August 22, 1888, at the inner entrance to San Francisco between Fort Point and the land opposite Lime Point. The sea was calm and a flood tide had been running in for about 4 hours with a rip tide off Fort Point. Oceanic's crew first spotted the City of Chester through the fog off their starboard bow about a half mile away on a collision course. The vessels did not reverse engines. An attempt was made to pass port to port, and Oceanic was put hard to starboard. City of Chester's course change was slow due to the flood and rip tides. By the time both vessels reversed engines it was too late, Oceanic's bow plunged 10 feet into the Chester's forward port quarter, 30 feet aft of the bow. Oceanic's bow remained in the breach in an attempt to keep City of Chester afloat, but with hull damage below the waterline she sank 6 minutes later taking the lives of 16 men, women and children.