S.S. Islander, Green Cove

The SS Islander was a steel hulled ocean liner, 240-feet (73 m) long with twin propellers, built in Scotland in 1888, and owned and operated by the Canadian-Pacific Navigation Company. She was built especially for the Inside Passage to Alaska and the Klondike gold fields. On 14 August 1901, Islander departed Skagway, Alaska for Victoria, British Columbia, filled to capacity with passengers and carrying gold bullion valued at over $6,000,000 in 1901 dollars. At about 2:00 am on 15 August, the ship was sailing at about 15 knots in fog between Douglas Island and Admiralty Island and struck either an iceberg or a rock that tore a large hole in the forward port quarter. The vessel stayed afloat for about 20 minutes, drifting in a strong southerly current, and then sank.

In 1934 a monumental salvage attempt was undertaken. The sailing cargo ship Forest Pride was converted to a salvage barge, and in tandem with another barge called Griffson, they were positioned on each side of the Islander. Cables were passed between them and under the sunken vessel and using extreme tide cycles for lifting, the vessel was moved to a beach in Green Cove. The Griffson was abandoned at the Green Cove site, and wreckage is visible at low tide along with what little is left of the Islander. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Green Cove.