|Definition: SS Baychimo was a steel-hulled 1,322 ton cargo steamer built in 1914 in Sweden and owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, used to trade provisions for pelts in Inuit settlements along the Victoria Island coast of the Northwest Territories of Canada. She became a notable ghost ship along the Alaska coast, being abandoned in 1931 and seen numerous times since then until her last sighting in 1969.
Built in Sweden in 1911, the Baychimo was a Pelt trader along the routes of North West Canada. She was given to Great Britain by Germany as part of War reparations.
The 20 year old Cargo Steamers final (crewed) voyage occurred in October 1931, carrying a cargo of fur. The vessel became ice packed off the coast of the town of Barrow. The crew temporarily abandoned the vessel and headed 1/2 a mile inland in search of shelter from the freezing conditions. The ship eventually broke free of the ice a week later, on the 8th October, and the crew returned, only to become trapped in ice, again, on the 15th October. 15 crew members built a makeshift shelter some distance away, intent on waiting out the winter and eventually sailing the ship free.
On the 24th November, a blizzard struck. When it calmed, the crew found that the Baychimo had vanished, presumed sunk in the storm. Several days later a seal hunter informed the crew that he had sighted the vessel about 45 miles from their camp. The crew tracked the vessel to retrieve their precious cargo and left the Baychimo to its fate.
Over the next 4 decades there were numerous sightings of the Baychemo along the coast of Canada. Several boardings were attempted, few were successful, the ones that were often resulting in the salvagers becoming trapped inside due to adverse weather conditions. The last confirmed sighting occurred in 1969, 38 years after she was abandoned, she was found frozen in an ice pack. In 2006, the Alaskan Government began an operation to locate the "The Ghost ship of the Arctic" but, to date, they have been unsuccessful.
Trapped in Ice, floating or at the bottom of the ocean, the fate of the Baychimo remains a mystery.
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