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Boat that survived '64 Alaska tsunami sunk by California wave?

  • Author:
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published March 29, 2011

An 85-year-old wooden-hulled fishing vessel said to have done rescue work in the aftermath of the 1964 Alaska earthquake and tsunami was sent to the bottom of the harbor in Crescent City, Calif., on March 11 when the tsunami triggered by the Japan earthquake reached the U.S. West Coast. The Kodiak Daily Mirror and The Daily Triplicate of Crescent City report that the 68-foot Kodiak was being refurbished by Mike Garfield, who had hoped to sell it or donate it to a historical organization. Garfield won't know what shape the Kodiak is in until he gets Coast Guard help raising it to the surface.

From the Daily Mirror:

The Coast Guard has donated the use of a barge and a crane to lift the sunken vessels out of the Crescent City harbor.

"I'll get her out of there if it's not broken in two," Garfield said. "She's a tough old gal."

If the Kodiak has broken up, he'll have to cut the boat into scrap, he said.

According to Garfield's brother, they could not insure the boat until repairs were complete. Garfield was just months away from finishing the restoration.

"I'm going to take this beating by myself," Garfield said.

That is not necessarily a bad thing in his estimation. If he had partners in the boat, he would now be having difficult discussions with his partners' wives, Garfield said.

Crescent City was also hit by a tsunami spawned by Alaska's Good Friday earthquake in 1964. Ten or 11 people died there. A Coast Guard video show's this month's tsunami damaging boats in the Crescent City harbor. Details of the Kodiak's history in Alaska are sketchy; the Daily Mirror is asking readers to share what they know of the boat.