Coast Guard Assists in Recovery of 140 Year Old Artifacts from USS TORRENT

JUNEAU, Alaska (D17 Public Affairs) – The Coast Guard assisted the Alaska State Archeologist and Historic Press Office, the Government Services Agency and the Team Torrent dive team in successfully recovering 140 year-old artifacts from the USS Torrent out of Coal Bay near Homer, Alaska, Monday.

The crew of the Hickory used its crane to recover the artifacts which included a brass mountain howitzer canon, a fragmented canon ball, several portholes and other small items.

The artifacts have been cataloged and transported to the Pratt Museum in Homer where they will be displayed to the public beginning today.

“This has been a wonderful opportunity,” said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Tlapa, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter Hickory. “We were able to recover a part of history and share it with so many. Most of the time when we go out it is for weeks at a time. A day trip like this really lets us engage with the community and bring our families.”

This unique chapter of Alaskan history started shortly after Alaska was purchased from Russia and the federal government began sending U.S. troops to secure the new territory.

In support of this mission, the USS Torrent was transporting troops through Cook Inlet in 1868 when it struck a rock in the vicinity of Port Graham. All personnel aboard the Torrent made it safely ashore in the vicinity of Coal Cove and months later were rescued by another passing ship. The exact location of the Torrent was a mystery until the summer of 2007 when Steve Lloyd discovered the wreck near Port Graham.

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