This is the Report to the President of the Federal Commission of Investigation Upon The Wreck of the Steamer “Valencia”. Published on April 14th 1906 in Washington D.C..
The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text.
Chapter I. Appointment And Proceedings Of The Commission. — Chapter II. The Valencia And Her Owners. — Chapter III. Brief Description Of Voyage. — Chapter IV. Second Period—After The Vessel Struck And Before The Arrival Of The Rescue Fleet. — Chapter V. Third Period — Rescue From Outside. — Chapter VI. Conditions Of Tide And Weather. — Chapter VII. Equipment Of The Valencia. — Chapter VIII. Conclusions. — Chapter IX. Recommendations.
.....The Valencia left her dock at San Francisco at 11.20 a. m. Saturday, January 20, 1906, bound for Victoria, B. C, and Seattle. Leaving San Francisco at the time she did, she would, in the ordinary course of events, have reached Cape Flattery at the entrance to the Straits some time within a few hours before or after midnight Monday, the third day.
.....She proceeded up the coast without especial incident, and early Sunday morning passed Cape Mendocino, about 190 miles north of San Francisco, which cape and the light thereon were the last land and light that were clearly seen by the Valencia until she went ashore. From that point the weather was hazy, and neither by night nor day did she see any lights thereafter or hear any fog signals.
.....Keeping her course almost entirely by compass and dead reckoning by the log, she failed to locate correctly her position in relation to Cape Flattery, missed the entrance to the Straits and Puget Sound, and went ashore at about 11.50 p. m. Monday, January 22, on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. It appeared that she first struck a rock or ledge a few hundred yards offshore, where she hung for a few minutes, and during these few minutes the vessel turned upon this rock as a pivot, and then, coming off, drifted or was driven inshore so that in her final berth she lay at substantially right angles to the shore line, with her bow heading out to sea and her stern not over a hundred yards from the cliff which formed the shore line. She remained in that position with life on board her until Wednesday noon or 1 o'clock p. m., January 24, breaking up gradually up to that time, and then her upper works went to pieces completely, so as to be wholly submerged except for her two masts and the tops of her boilers, and so as to be entirely untenable for human life, except for a few people in the rigging. During this period, from Monday night to Wednesday noon, various attempts were made, both by the ship's company and by outside parties, to rescue those on board, as will later be set forth in detail.
.....The wind was variable during her voyage, but was of considerable strength from the southeast when she struck and for two days thereafter, and the sea was fairly heavy. The weather was cold and wet. The coast line where the Valencia lay is substantially a continuous rock cliff, rising almost sheer from the water, about 100 feet in height, covered with trees and beaten by a very heavy surf. The exact location was about midway between Cape Beale, 9 ½ miles to the west, and Carmanah Light, 12 miles to the east, these being the two nearest lights and the nearest inhabited places except the small Indian village Clo-oose.
.....When the Valencia left San Francisco on the trip on which she was wrecked, she carried 46 first-class passengers and 62 second-class passengers. It appears that there were on the vessel 17 women in all, and a few children.
.....Of the total officers and crew of 65, 40 were lost and 25 saved. Of the total passenger list of 108, 96 were lost and 12 saved. The ratio of passengers lost to number of passengers was therefore 88 per cent, and of crew lost to number of crew 61 per cent.
.....In all, of the total ship's company of 173, 136 were lost (a percentage of 78) and 37 saved. All the women and children perished.