Shipwrecks of the Pacific Northwest – The Book (Preview Trailer)

Looking for a something new to read while you are trapped inside? Get the real story behind some of the most compelling historic wrecks in the PNW’s Graveyard of the Pacific. Combining archaeological analysis and new research, this unique collection takes a deep dive into the tales of peril and heroism, uncovers what remains of those ships today, and explores what may still be out there waiting to be discovered.

Check out this promo trailer for our new book and support Portland’s flagship local bookstore by ordering it here from

MAS Operations and Covid-19

Hello MAS Members,

I hope everyone is well. The medical community is indicating that nonessential meetings should be avoided. While many of us enjoy searching for shipwrecks, everyone’s health and safety should come first. Therefore, MAS will take the following precautions:

Effective Immediately:
1. MAS field operations will be suspended.
2. All MAS member training classes are cancelled.
3. Weekly shipwreck research at CRMM has been suspended.

What we will do:
1. Our training coordinator will work to reschedule the member training classes once the situation improves and the training facilities become available.
2. The Survey Supervisors assigned to the field work will plan and coordinate the field operations in order to carry them out when we can get back to work.
3. Individual researchers will work from home or their local area and coordinate with their Points of Contact for their ship/ship type category. If you are interested in doing some research while at home, please send us an email at
4. The MAS board will keep an eye on events and determine when we can bring the different programs back up.

We will keep you informed as we proceed. Thanks for your patience and support.

Chris Dewey
MAS President

A tribute to MAS board member Rick Rogers

We lost one of our founding MAS board members, Captain Rick Rogers, unexpectedly in a plane crash in late February. He was a true friend and will be greatly missed.

Rick was a retired Hawaiian Airlines pilot, shipwreck diver and explorer, an avocational Historian and the author of Shipwrecks of Hawaii. He researched shipwrecks, particularly galleon wrecks, all over the world including Mexico, Hawaii, and off our Oregon coast.

Here is a YouTube video one of his fellow pilots put together to honor his memory:


PSU Partnership


December 09, 2019

MAS is working with Portland State University Engineering Capstone Program to integrate a side-scan sonar on their Riptide Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. This is a short video showing the AUV systems check-out at Hagg Lake. This is a great group of students using the latest technology to locate shipwrecks.

Beeswax Wreck Project


There is a proto-historic wreck at Nehalem, which Indian oral history says was a large ship that wrecked many years before the white men came to the area; the ship was carrying many tons of beeswax, both as blocks and candles, and many of the blocks have Spanish shipping marks; she also carried a large and diverse cargo of Chinese porcelain in forms intended for the markets in the New World; she either had a Jesuit priest onboard or was carrying items associated with the Catholic Church, and she wrecked sometime between 1650 and 1725, with a range of 1680-1700 most likely given the porcelain styles and radiocarbon dates associated with wreck artifacts. These facts indicate the ship was a Manila galleon,

Read More about the Beeswax Wreck Project

Lewis and Clark River Boat Survey Project


At the request of the National Park Service, volunteers from MAS surveyed the remains of a small boat in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park.  It was very slick and muddy, but our intrepid team was able to successfully record the site.

Visitors to Lewis and Clark National Historical Park often ask rangers about a boat stuck in the mud along the Netul River trail. At low tide, the wooden boat frame is highly visible from the bridge crossing the mouth of Colewort Creek, where it meets the Lewis and Clark River (called the Netul by the Clatsop people and the Lewis and Clark Expedition). Unfortunately, the park had no information about the boat to share with park visitors. Through our recent collaboration, the National Park Service has learned about the boat and can improve site interpretation and resource management while MAS volunteers practiced techniques for recording and researching historic vessels.

Scaled drawings were produced and compared with vessels at the Columbia River Maritime Museum to identify the type of boat, its use, and its likely age. The drawing most closely resembled the gillnet fishing boats that were built during the 1920s and 1930s. Based on the position of the engine mountings, the team estimated that the boat had a square stern.


Shipwreck Survey Project


The Shipwreck Survey Project was created to examine and record wrecks and abandoned vessels in Oregon and Washington. Read More about past and present projects here.

T.J. Potter


Over a dozen trained MAS volunteers helped survey the remains of a late 19th century side-wheeler steamboat.

Built by Port Captain J.W. Troup of the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company, T.J. Potter was considered the fastest sidewheel steamer in the Pacific NW for its time, reportedly reaching speeds of fifty miles per hour on the Columbia River and weighing 1017 gross tons after a 1901 rebuild (230 feet long, 35 foot beam, and 10 foot 4 inch depth of hold; 32 inch x 96 inch engines). By 1916, the ship was condemned for passenger use and used by construction teams as a barrack’s boat until around 1920, when she met her fate in Youngs Bay and was burned down, her metal parts salvaged.


MAS volunteers surveying T.J. Potter in Astoria in the Spring of 2016 as part of the Shipwreck Survey Project.