Peter Iredale, Clatsop Spit

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The Peter Iredale was a four-masted 275 feet long (84 m) steel sailing ship that ran ashore on Clatsop Spit about 4 miles (6 km) south of the Columbia River entrance, on October 25, 1906 near Warrenton, Oregon. The wreck of the Peter Iredale is one of the most popular attractions on the Oregon coast. 

The Peter Iredale was heading for the Columbia River to meet the pilot schooner that would guide them over the bar. Captain H. Lawrence began steering toward land when the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse was spotted. But no schooner was on station when the Peter Iredale arrived at the south jetty of the Columbia River. Within an hour a strong gale picked up, and despite efforts of the crew, the ship struck the sandy beach near the jetty. The impact was so great that three of the four masts snapped immediately. All crew walked away unharmed, but the ship didn’t fare as well.

The ship's hull was not severely damaged, but a salvage operation had to wait several weeks for favorable conditions, and the ship became deeply embedded in the sand. The ship was sold for scrap, and what wasn’t taken was left to rot away and rust on the beach. Today, the shifting sands of Clatsop Spit repeatedly bury and uncover the remains of the wreck. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore the Clatsop Spit.

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