Gerard C. Tobey Shipwreck

Gerard C. Tobey was 208.7′ long, 39.1′ wide by 23.6′ deep.  Her gross tonnage was registered at 1,459.18 and her net tonnage at 1,389.77 tons.  native woods like white oak, pitch pine, and hackmatack were generally used in Down Easters.

A Griffiths subsidiary company – Coastwise Steamship and Barge Company founded in 1912 – became involved in the BC coasting trade with a contract to carry ore from the Granby Consolidated Mining, Smelting and Power Company at Anyox to the Tacoma smelter and coke on the return trip.

The Gerard C. Tobey was under tow with a load of 1,439 tones of code for the Granbby mine along with the barge Argus at the time of the mishap.  On July 5, 1914 the steamer Amur was towing the Gerard C. Tobey north when the heavily laden barge became unmanageable and was forced onto the rocks in Seymour Narrows.

Flare were sent up to attract the attention of the Amur.  Captain Nelson brought the ship about and rescued Captain Charles Brown, his wife, and five seamen.  The Gerard C. Tobey was hauled off when she hit the rocks the first time.  But she went down a total wreck in “many fathoms” of deep water after she struck again a short time later.

For more information on the Gerard C. Tobey and other shipwrecks of Northeastern Vancouver Island, go to UASBC.Com. You can order the publication Historic Shipwrecks of Northeastern Vancouver Island from the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia publications.

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