Point Arena, CA (Off Shore) Schooner Sinking, Aug 1910



Point Arena, Cal., Aug. 14. -- Four men were killed late last night when the boilers of the steam schooner PHOENIX blew up at sea, about ten miles north of the Point Arena light house. Two of the dead, Chief Engineer THOMAS HOUSTON and Second Mate ANDREW RASMUSSEN, reached shore with the survivors of the vessel, but died this morning of their injuries. The mangled bodies of two firemen, CHRIS HANSEN and WILLIAM NICHOLSEN, ride tonight in the demolished engine room of their water-logged ship as she floats at sea, a derelict.
The PHOENIX, loaded with bark from Needle Rock for San Francisco, was making her way slowly southward against a brisk wind in a choppy sea. When the explosion came the mate and the engineer where hurled to the floor toward the fire boxes and Chief Officer LOUIS LARSEN was torn from his post on the bridge, and his body was sent hurling through the air thirty feet to the deck below.
The sailors forward and Captain PETER HALVORSEN, seated in his cabin, were tossed about in their quarters by the force of the explosion.
With her bow well out of water, and careening to starboard, the PHOENIX was settling. Pump crews were stationed and some of the sailors were sent into the engine and boiler rooms, HOUSTON and RASMUSSEN were carried to the deck still alive, but fatally injured. NICHOLSEN and HANSEN were never seen after the explosion.
Sky rocket distress signals flashing through the air attracted Captain Stite and his crew of the Point Arena life-saving station and the rescuers put off in the lifeboat. They returned with RASMUSSEN and HOUSTON, and several members of the crew. Captain HALVORSEN and the others remained aboard, but were forced to abandon the ship at daybreak.
As darkness fell tonight, the PHOENIX was making her unguided way down the coast, kept afloat by her deckload.

Nebraska State Journal Lincoln 1910-08-15