Skip to content

PODCAST: SS Pacific shipwreck from the B.C. gold rush found off Washington State

TODAY IN B.C.: Steamer sank claiming over 300 lives with gold aboard
31621397_web1_230125-BPD-Podcast-SSPacific-GPS_1

You will find ‘Today in B.C.’ podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, iHeart and Google podcasts.

Jeff Hummel has been searching for clues to the SS Pacific since he was a high school student in Washington State.

On Nov. 4, 1875, the SS Pacific departed Victoria Harbor, B.C. and about 12 hours later, it was on the bottom. It had collided with a ship called the Orpheus, on its way to Nanaimo sinking in the first few hours of a 100-year storm.

Newspaper accounts at the time reported as much as 200 pounds of gold were onboard the SS Victoria.

In 2022 after a dozen offshore expeditions, the wreck has been found and Hummel’s company Rockfish Inc. has been granted salvage rights by U.S. Courts. Much of the technology required to find the wreck was built by Hummel and his team including the robotic dive vehicles.

“In terms of the ship itself, it is an incredible state of preservation,” says Hummel. “We expect to find items made of leather, items made of clothing, items made of wool, perhaps bottles of wine with the corks still in them. “It is beyond anyone’s imagination what’s actually there; it’s all there.”

A group of 45 subscribers has financed the project to date.

Hummel says they have spent about $2.1 million getting to this point and expects to spend $6-8 million to finish the project.

Once the recovery of the SS Pacific is complete, the Northwest Shipwreck Alliance, of which Hummel is a founder, hopes to create a museum dedicated to the SS Pacific.

“The Puget Sound area has a great maritime history to it, strangely enough, there isn’t a maritime museum, dedicated to that legacy,” said Hummel. “We want to build a large complex with a hotel and convention center. We have the right wreck to be the centerpiece of this project.”

If you have suggestions or comments, send a voice message to podcast@blackpress.ca you may be part of our audio podcast mailbag segment.

LISTEN: Elizabeth May back as Green Party of Canada leader

LISTEN: Shortages of children and adult medicines across B.C.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter



Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
Read more



 
Pop-up banner image