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Historial images of the Diamond Knot »

Background information on The Diamond Knot:

The Diamond Knot was built during WWII for (and at the time of her loss was still owned by) the United States Maritime Commission and was bareboat chartered to the Alaska Steamship Company. She was powered by a single acting, solid injection, diesel engine, rated at 1,750 shaft horsepower at 100rpm, which drove her large bronze propeller to a normal cruising speed of about 12 knots. Her fuel tanks could carry a maximum of about 35,000 gallons of diesel. The above decks carried a forest of masts, kingposts and booms, arranged to efficiently handle cargo.

In the fateful summer of 1947, she was loaded with 154,316 cases of valuable canned fish at the Bristol Bay Ports of Alaska. The cargo of 7,407,168 cans of red, king, chum and coho salmon - was valued at $3.5 million in 1947 dollars. She was also loaded with other cargo including lumber, cannery equipment and thousands of labels. In addition, her deep tanks were filled 50,000 gallons of fish oil, and her deck cargo carried a small tugboat, an automobile and 155 barrels of salt fish. All cargo was headed for Seattle. The start of the voyage was uneventful and after a 26 hour run across Bristol Bay she turned due south through Unimak Pass into the northern Pacific. She changed course and then headed into the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The seas in the straits were running particularly heavy on the night of Aug. 12th. As she entered, dense fog kept the entrance marker buoy and the shores of both Washington and Vancouver Island (Canada) from her sights. In the early hours of Aug. 13th, the Knot was just a few miles south of Race Rock, just north of the of the prescribed traffic lane for inbound traffic. Plowing through the dense fog, outbound from Seattle for the Pacifc, came the 10,681 ton Fenn Victory (nearly twice the size of the Knot). The Fenn Victory was only slightly loaded with 200 tons of cargo, causing her bow to ride high out of the water as she headed seaward. With no warning, as the crews busily worked their vessel decks, the Fenn Victory collided with the Diamond Knot in the dark, pre-dawn fog. The bow of the Fenn Victory, towering high in the water, tore through 14 feet of the Diamond Knot and became entangled in the heavy crosstree of the even heavier midship kingpost. The reinforced decking, heavy cargo machinery and kingposts and booms in this location probably kept the Knot from being cut completely through.

Despite this, the deep gash on the Knot's side was a fatal one. Her decks were down and completely awash before the rescue tug Salvage Chieftain arrived and cut the vessels apart. Two sea going tugs, Matilda Foss and the Foss 21 then took the sinking Knot in tow and headed for the shallower, protected waters of Crescent Bay. They were not destined to make it. Just off Tongue Point Reef, at the eastern side of the entrance to Crescent Bay, the strong currents caught the salvors and the Knot in its grip. It spun the sinking vessel broadside to the current and pulled the already sinking starborad side completely underwater. The Knot then sank quickly, settling on her starboard side in about 135 feet of water, where she lies today.








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