The Andelana was a British bark that vanished during a Jan. 6, 1899, windstorm while moored in Tacoma’s Commencement Bay.

[The four-masted British bark had been moored there, roughly 500 yards from shore. The crew had unloaded its cargo of steel and was bunked down for the night. The plan was to load up with wheat in a day or two and set sail for San Francisco. Without ballast, the 300-foot ship was kept on even keel by chains fastened to heavy logs on either side.

Then, during the night a windstorm hit and the ship vanished, slipping silently below the waterline and entombing all 17 sailors aboard. It had not been rammed or burned; no one saw or heard it go down. It appeared that the rigging broke during the storm, tipping and capsizing the Andelana.

The loss of life – the worst ever in the bay – and the way the Andelana simply disappeared in a protected harbor made it something of a mystery ship as years passed.] [Story Credit: Seattle Times, 2000]

It has apparently been found from time to time – In 1935, a diver looking for a tugboat’s anchor stumbled upon the silt-covered hulk of the Andelana. In 1954, some of the ship’s ironwood railing was hauled up and made into gavels for Republican clubs around the state – but the wreck has never been explored by divers.

I believe the Commencement Bay bathymetry points to its location. In the bathymetry included here the wreck is marked as ‘Target with Shadow’ and lies between 60 and 80m; which would give the depth of the wreck as approx 230ft.

(click to enlarge)