Sunday, March 18, 2012

Schooner G.A. Kohler ~ 23 August 1933

Schooner G.A. Kohler
The American-owned G.A. Kohler was built in 1919 and was one of the last of the large sailing vessels. She sailed from the pier of the Redman-Vane company of Baltimore, MD on August 20, 1933. 
     A huge four-masted schooner, she was reported as “wallowing helplessly in the breakers a mile south of Gull Shoal Station,” when the full fury of a storm struck the Carolina banks the morning of August 23, 1933. Throughout the day and night, she remained there, showing distress signals, while the coastguardsmen stood helplessly by waiting for a break in the storm. The following morning, after hurricane winds started to subside, crews from Gull Shoal and Chicamacomico, led by Coast Guard Capt. John Allen Midgett, rescued the crew, which consisted of Captain George H. Hopkins, his wife, 8 crewmen and a dog. All were brought to shore safely using the Lyle gun and the Breeches buoy.
     After the hurricane tide subsided, the ship was left high and dry on the beach, far beyond the reach of all but the highest tides. The Kohler remained there for 10 years, until burned during WWII for her iron fittings. The captain had earlier sold the wreck to a local Avon resident for $150.
     Over time the remains of the wreck have been covered and uncovered by shifting sands. Her charred remnants remain—often obscured by shifting sand.

Photo made sometime between her wreckage and 1945.


  1. Just saw the G A Koehler on June 17th, 2015 just North of ramp 27. After a few days the sand was starting to cover up the wreck again.

  2. I stumbled on the Koehler while visiting OBX. Even though only the very bottom of the ship remains, it is a stunning sight. Intrigued, I searched for other wrecks only to discover there are hundreds of them, maybe even thousands, all along the Atlantic coast.

  3. What source did you find for the build date and port of origin?

  4. Wow ... that post was some time ago! I no longer have my research handy where I can grab that info from you, but here are a couple of resources that support the date she was built. Can I ask what your interest is in this ship?