John Wells shipwreck

Nature of Casualty

Abandoned after trapped in ice. 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

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 Japan had gone ashore at East Cape in 1870 in a brutal autumn storm just as the last ships were leaving Bering Strait. The men lived with the Eskimos for the winter. Many of them made their way to the John Wells in June 1871 and then were distributed throughout the fleet only to have to abandon their new vessels three months later. Bockstoce, John R., Whales, Ice, and Men: The History of Whaling in the Western Arctic, University of Washington Press, Seattle Washington, 1986: 154, 165

Official Number: 13002

Type: Bark

Length: 107 Feet

Home Port: New Bedford, MA

Place Built: New York, NY

Date Lost: Sept. 14, 1871

Captain When Lost: Aaron Dean

Where: Point Belcher, Near Wainwright Inlet

Cause: Trapped in Ice and Abandoned

Cargo: 300 Barrels of Whale Oil