Morning Swell Throws Schooner Osprey onto Coos Bay's North Jetty

Jun 25, 2014

  The seas were peaceful when the gas-powered Osprey schooner left Gold Beach, Ore., on Oct. 31, 1912, under Capt. Gus Johnson of Wedderburn. 

The 45-ton schooner was built in Coquille only four years earlier for R. D. Hume of Gold Beach. A heavy swell pushed the Osprey onto the north jetty and rolled it over as Capt. Johnson attempted to cross the bar into Coos Bay the next morning.  The tug Roscoe went to the rescue and threw a line to Capt. Johnson and urged him to jump into the sea so they could pull him aboard.  The captain chose to go down with his ship, and the tug returned without saving anyone. Lost were Capt. Johnson, engineer Chester Johnson, crewman Joe Peitsch and two passengers, Capt. Jacobson, former master of the wrecked Berwick, and Ned Harvey, along with a load of salmon and five tons of gold-bearing black sand. Silas Christofferson flew his airship across the bar twice looking for survivors, and other lifesavers went out, but saw no sign of the Osprey wreckage or its crew and passengers.

Sources: "Steamboats of the Oregon Coast." Wikipedia. Web. 18 May 2014. "Osprey Dashes on Rocks and Five Men Perish." Riddle Tribune 7 Nov. 1912: 6.