Nature of Casualty

Crushed and pushed partly onto ice. Wreck still visible in 1872. Tornfelt, Evert E., Burwell, Michael, Shipwrecks of the Alaskan Shelf and Shore, U.S. Department of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska OCS Region, 1992

On the 2d September the brig Comet was crushed in the heavy ice; her crew were taken on board the other ships and cared for. In now became evident that the ice was setting on shore very heavily, the open strip of water became narrower every day, and no possible chance to get out. Still no one thought there would be any difficulty of getting out the first north-east gale. On the 8th of September the bark Awashonks was crushed between the heavy floe and the ground ice. Her crew were also received on board the other ships. New York Times 10-31-1872

The five northernmost ships, the Roman, Comet, Concordia, Gay Head, and George, were completely surrounded. Slightly to the south the John Wells, Massachusetts, Contest, J. D. Thompson, Henry Taber, Fanny, Monticello, and Elizabeth Swift were not as tightly gripped... The next day a lobe of ice pressed down on the southern fleet, grounding in five and half feet of water to the south of them. It stove the Awashonks, nipped the Julian, and snapped the rudder off the Eugenia. The Awashonks was sold at auction for sixteen dollars. 1872: They [salvors] came upon the Awashonks beached in only two feet of water; her masts were gone. Bockstoce, John R., Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic, University of Washington Press, Seattle Washington, 1986:154-155, 186

Official Number: 629

Type: Bark

Length: 103 Feet

Home Port: New Bedford, MA

Place Built: Falmouth, MA

Date Lost: Sept. 8, 1871

Captian When Lost: Ariel Norton

Where: South of Wainwright Inlet

Cause: Crushed by Ice

Cargo: 550 Barrels of Whale Oil