Why are Pacific ocean wrecks often ignored


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Jan 7, 2002
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Isnt it odd ocean liner buffs; 9 times out of 10 have a preference for trans Atlantic ocean liners?
For some reason- Pacific ocean liners- and thus Pacific ocean shipwrecks- seldom get the same degree of attention as thier Atlantic ocean counterparts.
Why is that?
Im sure there were some beautiful liners that sailed only the Pacific that we seldom hear about...
I think the White Star liners on the Australia route are popular by default, because they have an Atlantic home base- but if they were totally based in the pacific, they would be footnotes TO footnotes..

Has anyone else notcied how ships of the Pacific often play second bannana to thier Atlantic ocean counterparts?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Jim Kalafus

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There are a number of good books about Pacific shipwrecks. I have been researching the Pacific (the lost liner, not the ocean) for a number of years and you would be surprised at how many excellent first person accounts a wreck which left only two survivors can generate. Likewise, Brother Jonathan and Columbia have left compelling paper trails. The Clallam disaster, 'though not as easy to read up on, rates as one of the strangest wrecks of the 20th century. Michael Neitzel's book about the Valencia wreck is a must read, although the story is unbelievably depressing and the wreck perhaps the worst, in terms of prolonged suffering, of any liner in the 20th century.
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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I think a lot depends on your geographic location, Tarn. Down here in Oz we have a great interest in Pacific wrecks, both war casualities and wrecks from the merchant service in peacetime. I'm a tremendous fan of the SS Yongala, for example, and every diver down here knows the story of the SS President Coolidge - an American President Lines ship converted to troop use in WWII and sunk after hitting an American mine in Vanuatu. I hope to get around to diving her one day - it is claimed that she is the largest easily diveable shipwreck in the world.

Chuuk lagoon is legendary for its WWII Japanese shipwrecks, and what about the wrecks of Bikini Atoll? These include the USS Saratoga, a vessel of tremendous historical significance (and bigger than the Coolidge! Deeper, though). Then there's the Nagato, flagship of the Japanese Navy - another wreck of great historical resonance.

Our library here is filled with books on Australian and other Pacific shipwrecks, going back to the earliest days of commerce. At the moment there's an exhibition on at the Australian National Maritime Museum on the wreck and archaelogical studies of a late 15th - early 16th Century trading vessel, lost off the coast of Brunei.

We cherish some of the liners we've known down here, such as the Ceramic, once known as the Queen of the Southern Seas, and the much-loved Medic. Then there are all the tremendous P&O vessels, as well as Blue Funnel ships etc. Few of these, however, came to rest in Pacific waters - those that weren't broken up, that is.
 

Jim Kalafus

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I think another reason the West Coast wrecks are ignored is that, at least until the mid 1920s, there were only a handful of ships serving the Coast- most of them CPR Liners- which were of equivalent quality to the better known Atlantic Liners. Most of the ships which operated out of LA, San Francisco and Seattle were comfortable, rather than grand, and many of them were East Coast castoffs. The late 1920s-1950s saw an abundance of high quality liners built for, or transferred to, the American Pacific ports but with the exceptions of the City of Honolulu (burned) and President Hoover (damaged beyond economic repair after a grounding) none of the first rate American Pacific ships of that era came to grief in peacetime. Canada saw the losses of Princess Kathleen (grounded and then sank after slipping off the reef) and one of the Grand Trunk 'Prince' ships (burned) in the immediate post war years, but the majority of the ships lost continued to be of the smaller, older, and less publicity worthy variety.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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My granduncle "Jack" Montgomery was killed/crushed between the ship Valencia and lifeboat, putting passengers onto lifeboats in Jan 1906 Valencia shipwreck.I am wanting to do a painting,I'm an artist, for the family and wonder if anyone could email me any photos.I will not publish or exactly copy them as I am able to draw a freehand version from the structural information I see that should suit my needs.Thank you. Peggy
 
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