Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary Living Sanctuary section includes Marine Life, Habitats, Ocean Environment, History and Culture

Lamut

Built in the United States in 1919 and later sold to the Russian merchant marines, the Lamut left Portland headed for Vladivostok on March 31, 1943. Off the Olympic Coast she encountered heavy seas and driving rain. The captain, disoriented by the storm, took his ship too close to shore, and she ran aground in a narrow, steep-walled cove not far from the Quilleute Needles. The crew attempted to launch one of the lifeboats, but it was smashed by the waves, killing one crew member and injuring another.

In response to the captain's distress calls, the U. S. Coast Guard began searching for the vessel. The first rescue squad arrived in a small boat, but realized that the Lamut's position in pounding surf made rescue by sea impossible.

Meanwhile another rescue squad headed overland, making their way through several miles of wilderness to reach the cliffs above the ship. They were able to throw a line to the ship, and after securing it, crew members pulled themselves hand over hand to safety on a ledge part way up the face of the cliff. From there, Coast Guardsmen assisted them to the top of the cliff, then overland to safety.

Russian sea captains who lost their ships were subject to extreme punishment. When the master of the Lamut was found not liable, many Americans wrote letters to Stalin asking that he not punish the captain for the loss of his ship. It's believed that these letters saved the captain's life when he returned to Russia.


Read about individual shipwrecks in the sanctuary:

Austria

H.M.S. Condor

Emily Farnum

Leonore

Pacific

Prince Arthur

Skagway

Southerner

St. Nicholas

Temple Bar

W. J. Pirrie

See Shipwreck Map



Contact for page content: George Galasso
Photo of peach coral
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