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Gambier Bay is an estuary on the east coast of Admiralty Island, that trends southeast for 8 miles (13 km) to Stephens Passage, about 57 miles (92 km) east of Sitka, Alaska. The bay was named after Point Gambier in 1889 by Lieutenant Commander H.B. Mansfield of the U.S. Navy.
In 1913, the Steamship State of California was bound from Puget Sound for Alaska with passengers, mail, and freight and made a quick stop at the Admiralty Trading Company cannery in Gambier Bay. After pulling away from the cannery dock, Captain Thomas H. Cann, Jr. steered a course thought to be clear of hazards. Steaming at 13 knots, the massive liner passed over a submerged pinnacle that ripped open her hull.
The captain attempted to run the liner onto the beach to keep her from sinking, but the flood of icy seawater was too great. The vessel sank in deep water with the loss of 31 lives. Read more here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Gambier Bay on Admiralty Island.