Kaliakh River, Bering Coastal Plain

The wreckage of a log barge lies partially buried by the Kaliakh River sand spit. The Kaliakh River flows from the Bering Glacier via Hope Creek that drains a pro-glacial lake at the terminus of one glacial lobe. Log barges were used to transport cut logs from coastal forests to regional sawmills such as the one in Jakolof Bay near Homer. Prior to the advent of log barges,  rafts were used to transport logs across the exposed waters of British Columbia and Alaska. Conventional boom rafts were used on protected waters, but these could not withstand the larger swells and rougher weather conditions of the open ocean. Davis rafts that consisted of a 40 m long (130 ft) mat of logs woven together with steel cables were used instead, see and learn more about them here. But the loss of logs during storms was significant, and many Gulf of Alaska beaches are still strewn with thousands of cut logs that escaped from these rafts . Log barges were first used in the 1920s to transport logs more securely along the coast. The earliest barges were old ships' hulls converted for the purpose. Self-dumping barges were introduced in 1954, and by the 1960s cranes had been added for self-loading. See a log barge in action here, and learn more here. But even with this technology, tow cables can still break and barges are occasionally lost at sea to eventually strand onshore or break apart. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of the barge wreck and the Bering Coastal Plain.