Seabird Rocks are located near the mouth of Pachena Bay in Pacific Rim National Park, about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of Port Renfrew and 6 miles (10 km) south of Bamfield, British Columbia. This is where Soquel, a 698-ton four-masted schooner built in San Francisco, was shipwrecked on January 22, 1909.
Soquel was sailing with ballast from Callao, Peru, heading for Port Townsend (near Seattle), when bad weather and high seas carried her far off course. The crew of 12 battled the storm as it continued to worsen, toppling two of the ship’s four masts. The captain’s wife and daughter were killed by falling spars when the masts came crashing down on them. Throughout the night they struggled to reach a safe place to escape the storm but ran aground on Seabird Rocks.
The lightkeeper at Pachena Point saw a fire built by the crew on an offshore ledge and telegraphed for help. The recently organized Bamfield lifesaving crew began a rescue operation. They battled the huge waves with their steamer, however, they were unable to get close enough to perform a rescue. A few hours later, a second steamer arrived on the scene, and together they managed to save five of the crew. Darkness prevented further rescue and the seven remaining crew had to wait out the night on the wrecked ship. The next morning calmer seas enable the rescue of remaining survivors. Read more about Soquel here and here. Explore more of Seabird Rocks here: