SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska




July 16, 2008

140 year-old artifacts from the USS Torrent out of Coal Bay near Homer, Alaska, were successfully recovered Monday. The Coast Guard assisted the Alaska State Archeologist and Historic Press Office, the Government Services Agency and the Team Torrent dive team in the recovery.

The crew of the Hickory used its crane to recover the artifacts which included a brass mountain howitzer cannon, a fragmented cannon ball, several portholes and other small items.


Brass mountain howitzer cannon recovered by the crew of the Hickory
Photo courtesy U.S.C.G.

This unique chapter of Alaskan history started shortly after Alaska was purchased from Russia and the federal government began sending U.S. troops to secure the new territory.

In support of this mission, the USS Torrent was transporting troops through Cook Inlet in 1868 when it struck a rock in the vicinity of Port Graham.  All personnel aboard the Torrent  made it safely ashore in the vicinity of Coal Cove and months later were rescued by another passing ship.  The exact location of the Torrent was a mystery until the summer of 2007 when Steve Lloyd discovered the wreck near Port Graham. 

The artifacts have been cataloged and transported to the Pratt Museum in Homer where they were displayed to the public Tuesday.

"This has been a wonderful opportunity," said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Tlapa, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory. "We were able to recover a part of history and share it with so many. Most of the time when we go out it is for weeks at a time. A day trip like this really lets us engage with the community and bring our families."



Source of News & Photograph:

United States Coast Guard


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska