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

Temple Bar

The British freighter Temple Bar struck a reef near the Quillayute Needles and foundered in shallow water two miles south of La Push in the pre-dawn hours of April 8, 1939. The crew of 36 safely abandoned the ship in lifeboats, and were towed to shore by Coast Guardsmen from the Quillayute Coast Guard Station.

At the time she sank the Temple Bar was approximately ten miles off course. At first her cargo of scrap iron was blamed for a compass malfunction. However further investigation revealed the cause of her grounding to be an unusually strong easterly current that the first mate, who was navigating the vessel at the time, had failed to compensate for.

Visible from shore, the Temple Bar became a magnet for tourists from Clallam, Kitsap, Jefferson, King and Pierce counties. Although visible from La Push breakwater, a better view was to be had by walking two miles along muddy trails to Second Beach. From this vantage point the wreck was visible about a half mile offshore.

In recent years archaeologists and staff from the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary have located the steel hull of the Temple Bar by using side-scan sonar and a magnetic sensor towed behind the research vessel Tatoosh. This and other shipwrecks in the sanctuary are protected under state and federal laws.


Read about individual shipwrecks in the sanctuary:

Austria

H.M.S. Condor

Emily Farnum

Lamut

Leonore

Pacific

Prince Arthur

Skagway

Southerner

St. Nicholas

W. J. Pirrie

See Shipwreck Map



Contact for page content: George Galasso
Photo of peach coral
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