Central Coast BC Shipwreck of the Donald D

The Donald D was launched as the three-masted wooden ship Ivy, built in 1876 by Charles V Minott as his shipyard in Phippsburg Maine.   On 30th October 1916, towed the empty Donald D out of Prince Rupert.   They were bound for the coal port of Union Bay on Vancouver Island.

They at attempted to cross Queen Charlotte Sound in a raging southeaster.  The Return for Wreck Register recorded the state of the sea as “Phenomenal”.  Around 11:30 in the evening of 2nd November 1916, the wire-cable towline parted.  Efforts were made to get another line aboard the barge but non held.  Low on coal, the Dola had to abandon the hulk about eight miles west-northwest of the Pine Island and run for Alert Bay.

At Alert Bay, the captain telegraphed the owner and had the naval radio superintendent broadcast an urgent call for vessels to watch out for the lost craft.   The Grand Trunk Pacific steamship Prince John received the call and diverted her course off Egg Island to look for the barge.  The Prince John found the Donald D some 20 miles west of Cape Calvert.  All those on board were taken off.  The steamship also managed o get a hawser aboard but wire parted after only 15 minutes.  The barge was last seen drifting toward Fitz Roy Reef off Calver Island.   The vessel wrecked at Codfish Pass, BC Nov. 2nd 1916.

For more information on the Donald D and other shipwrecks on the Sunshine Coast, go to: UASBC.Com. You can order the publication Historic Shipwrecks of the Central Coast from the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia publications.

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