The Sechelt was a small shelter-deck screw steamer. She was launched as the Hatti Hansen at Pontiac, Washington in 1893. her wooden hull was 73 feet in length, 15.2 feet in breadth, with a depth of 7.4 feet.
Built for sheltered waters, she was narrow in beam and very high-sided. large recessed doors in the sides opened to the main deck and engine room. The main deck was an empty space for cargo and livestock. The passenger deck above was spartan-it lacked a galley, for instance-but may have been enough to make her somewhat top-heavy.
In 1906 or early 1907 she was bought by businessman, Herbert Whitaker. Owner of a store and hotel in Sechelt, he also ran the Sechelt Steamship Company. Naturally, he renamed his new acquisition, the Sechelt.
The Sechelt had a couple of accidents in 1910. She stranded at Prospect Point on August 7th but was related. On November 6th she grounded at Cowan Point on Bowen Island. She go off a few days later.
At 2:45 pm on March 24, 1911 the Sechelt set out from Victoria on her regular run. Aboard were six crewmen and about 30 passengers. Captain James replaced Stromberg this time.
The weather was blustery and worsening. It got so rough that the Sechelt made an unscheduled stop at William Head to let off 18 seasick passengers. Carrying on, she passed Race Rocks in a full westerly gale. About 5:30 pm she was in trouble about three miles off Church Point.
For more information on the Sechelt and other shipwrecks of Southern Vancouver Island, go to: UASBC.Com. You can order the publication Historic Shipwrecks of Southern Vancouver Island from the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia publications.