The Neva, Kruzof Island

The Neva was originally a British merchant ship named the Thames and launched in 1801. Russia bought the ship in 1803, and she was renamed Neva. Under the Russian flag, she participated in two trips to the Far East, the first of which was the first Russian circumnavigation of the world. Then in August 1812, Neva left Okhotsk, Russia bound for Fort St. Archangel Mikhail and the town of Sitka, Alaska. The ship and crew endured three months of storms, sickness and water shortages before arriving in Prince William Sound. Despite rigging damage, the crew pushed eastward toward Sitka. In January 1813, near Kruzof Island, only a few miles from their destination, the ship hit a reef and sank. Twenty-eight members of the original crew struggling to shore with almost nothing and survived for nearly a month before rescuers arrived. Archaeologists recently discovered the site of the shipwreck and the survivors' encampment, and are uncovering the story of how these sailors lived for a month in extremely harsh conditions. Learn more about the Neva here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Kruzof Island.