The Wreck of the Steamer Czarina
'Twas a dark and stormy winter's morn in January nineteen
hundred and ten.
The steamer Czarina set out for Frisco Bay with twenty-five
stout hearted men.
Twenty-four sailors and one passenger, Harold, the shipping
A bright young lad, bound for UC Berkeley, not yet quite
Her cargo – cement, coal and lumber. Her hold could hold
The captain and his crew could not know what Fate had had0
Captain Dugan started westwards toward the tricky Coos Bay bar.
Giant waves were headed eastward from storms both near and far.
The storm had put her fire out, the waves came fast and steady.
The hapless ship had lost control and bounced against the jetty.
She floated north beside the spit, her life boats were no more.
Captain Dugan ordered the anchor dropped, so she wouldn't
This turned out to be a bad mistake, the ship too far from
the beach, with lumber floating all around, the rescue boats
could not reach.
The men climbed up the rigging as the ship sank past the deck.
Was there nothing that could save them? Were they doomed
aboard the wreck?
From the shore crowds watched the sailors drop off one-by-one.
From terrible cold and fatigue they finally did succumb.
One man did survive this ordeal. His name was Harry Kentzel,
He clung to a piece of lumber, no doubt frozen with great fear.
Alas, all the rest had met their final fate, no more to sail
They washed ashore over several weeks, their families wracked
So let us pause to think of Fate, who's hand does not distinguish
Between the wealthy son or the lowly swab, life too soon.
Note: Some accounts say 23 sailors and one passenger were on board and some
accounts spell Captain Dugan as Duggan. History is not an exact science.