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JPR Feature
Aging Steam-Schooner Disappears Off Cape Blanco, Ore.   
Tuesday, September 17. 2013
By Dmitri Shockey

In September 1930, a ship bound from Crescent City, Calif., to Coos Bay, Ore., vanished before reaching its destination.
Built in 1887 as the age of sailing ships was drawing to a close, the 57-year-old  S.S. South Coast was a steam-schooner, a sailing ship retrofitted with steam engines.  The aging vessel was barely seaworthy due to engine installation problems and sloppy construction.  

When the South Coast left the Crescent City port with 18 men and 250 tons of logs, many considered it one of its final journeys. They couldnít have been more correct.  

On Sept. 17, a passing freighter spotted the South Coastís lifeboat floating off Oregonís Cape Blanco.  When another ship spotted a deckhouse and other ship parts floating on the water, the Coast Guard launched a full-scale search.  All they found were the lifeboats and the floating deckhouse, along with a large amount of bobbing logs.  

Some Gold Beach residents reported seeing a blue flash on the horizon and hearing a distant explosion the night the ship vanished, raising the possibility the boiler blew up.

To this day, no one knows for sure what happened.

Source: John, Finn J. "The Mysterious Destruction Of The S.S. South Coast: What Happened?" Mail Tribune. Medford Mail Tribune, 18 June 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <>.

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