This Day in Alaska History-July 29th, 1905

Star of Russia. Image-State Library of South Australia
Star of Russia. Image-State Library of South Australia

The steel-hulled square-rigger sailing ship, the Star of Russia, bought by the Alaska Packers Association on November 1st, 1901, would run aground less than four years later.

The ship ran aground on Chirikof Island on July 29th, 1905. There were no lives lost and it was soon refloated and repaired at a cost of $56,000 and returned to service.

Bought by APA to haul cannery supplies and salmon pack, the Star of Russia was the first of the star line purchased by APA. The other ships later bought and owned by APA were the Star of BengalStar of EnglandStar of FalklandStar of FinlandStar of FranceStar of GreenlandStar of HollandStar of IcelandStar of ItalyStar of LaplandStar of PolandStar of ScotlandStar of Shetland, and Star of Zealand.

The Star of Russia had multiple owners since its maiden voyage in 1875 and would remain with APA for another 25 years before being sold again in 1926. It would have several different owners and various names throughout it’s maritime life.

That life came to an end in 1953 when it sank just northwest of Port Vila Harbor in Vanuatu. The ship is now a popular diving spot and lies in under 20 fathoms of water. It can be found by divers at S17° 45′ 18.2″ E168° 17′ 49.2″.