Daily Event for October 20, 2013

The tanker Minnewaska was built in 1902 at the American Shipbuilding Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Steam powered with a triple expansion engine the 430' long ship was registered at 5,237 tons. In 1906 she was sold to the Union Steamship Company of Duluth, Minnesota and renamed Santa Rita. After changing hands four more times in 1921 she was owned by the American Fuel & Transportation Company of New York, but the ship's homeport was Wilmington, Delaware.

On October 20, 1921 Santa Rita, with captain John Maripwu in charge, she sailed out of New Orleans, Louisiana bound for La Spezia, Italy carrying 98,000 barrels of oil valued at almost $100,000. She was due to arrive on Nov. 15, but nothing was heard from the ship since Oct. 23rd, when she was off the Florida Keys. By December she was given up for lost. Neither her or her thirty-five man crew were ever seen again. The most likely cause of her loss was a hurricane which had raged through the area she would have been.
© 2013 Michael W. Pocock

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