SAN FRANCISCO (April 23, 2014) Scientists have located the wreckage of a steamship that sank in 1888 in San Francisco Bay, killing 16 people.
The sinking of the City of Chester is the second-worst shipwreck ever to occur within the bay, said James Delgado director of maritime heritage for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Chester set off in thick fog on August, 22, 1888, and eventually collided with the Oceanic, a steamer more than twice as large.
News reports at the time placed blame on the Oceanic's crew for failing to help victims on the smaller Chester, but Delgado said testimony during the accident investigation revealed much of Oceanic's crew acted bravely, some helping in the rescue efforts.
"Discoveries like this remind us that the waters off our shores are museums that speak to powerful events, in this case not only that tragic wreck, but to a time when racism and anger were set aside by the heroism of a crew who acted in the best traditions of the sea," Delgado said.