SS Northwestern, Captains Bay

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SS Northwestern, Captains Bay

by | Jul 28, 2018

Captains Bay is on the northeast coast of Unalaska Island, in the southern arm of Unalaska Bay, about 5 miles (8 km) southwest of the community of Unalaska, Alaska. It was named for Captain Lieutenant Michael Levashev of the Imperial Russian Navy, who spent the winter at the head of this bay in 1768-69.

Several shipwrecks are now decaying in the shallows in an area called Port Levashef, including the wreck of the SS NorthwesternNorthwestern was a passenger and freight steamship originally launched as SS Oriziba in 1889 by the Delaware River Iron Ship Building and Engine Works. With new owners and a name change, she worked mostly in the waters of Alaska.

On 25 July 1933, Northwestern ran aground off Sentinel Island Lighthouse near Juneau and subsequently was beached on the Eagle River Sand Spit. Northwestern was later pressed into service by the U.S. Navy during World War II and served as housing for workers at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island. On 4 June 1942, the area was bombed by the Japanese, and Northwestern suffered a direct hit inflicting extensive damage. The hulk afterward was loaded with scrap and towed to Captains Bay in anticipation of eventually being towed to Seattle, Washington. Despite U.S. Navy records indicating that she was towed to Seattle, she remained in Captains Bay, and eventually sank around 1946. Read more here and here. Explore more of Captains Bay here:

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