Historic Shipwrecks “Commodore Straits” Sank December 14th, 1955

Historic Shipwrecks of the Sunshine Coast

The Commodore Straits left Vancouver on 14th December 1955 to pick up a tow of logs.  She had a crew of ten, including Captain Al Backen.  At 9:48 p.m., they sent out a distress call: the tug had struck Fraser Rock in Welcome Pass and was going down by the stern.

The first vessel to arrive was another Straits Towing tug, the Nanaimo Clipper.  By then, the aft half of Commodore Straits was already under water.   The Vancouver Province reported that: “Ten men were rescued from the sinking tug “Commodore Straits” without getting their feet wet…… The men were whisked off the deck of their stricken vessel, transferred from the rescue tug “Nanaimo Clipper” to another boat, and were on their way to Vancouver.

The wreck is off he southeast side of Fraser Rock in the Welcome Passage.  The hull lies upside down and has a slight list of 5-10 degrees downslope.  It runs diagonally across a sand and mud slope at he base of Fraser Rock on a rough bearing of 170 degrees (stern to bow).  The stern is in 36 metres of water on a 2.0 metre tide, the bow is somewhat deeper at 46 metres.  The wooden hull is intact for most of its length but is disintegrating.

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

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