The Wreck of the Vadso at Cape Lazo 1908.

by John MacFarlane 2017


The Vadso being salvaged from Cape Lazo BC in 1908. (Photo courtesy of MMBC. )

In 1881 she was was built as Bordeaux, and renamed in 1907 as Vadso at Christiana Norway by Nylands Meks. Vaerksted. 191.2’ x 28.7’ x 21.7’ steel hull 908gt 608rt powered by a 110hp compound steam engine (1881).

In 1881 she was owned by Swedish interests for the Christiana – Vadso route. In 1907 she was sold to the Boscowitz Steamships Co. and brought to Vancouver BC. In 1911 she was taken over by Union Steamships Ltd. In 1913 she was owned by The Vadso Steamship Co. Ltd., Vancouver BC until she was wrecked in British Columbia waters. She carried up to 50 passengers.


The Vadso being salvaged from Cape Lazo BC in 1908.(Photo courtesy of MMBC. )

In 1908 she was driven ashore on Cape Lazo BC and after being salvage she was towed to Comox BC for repair.

Christopher Cole (in the British Columbia Nautical History Facebook Group 05/02/2018) reported from his research that "The SS Maude of the BC Salvage Co. was along side. The picture was probably taken from Salvor. It was too shallow for the Salvor to get in close. The Vadso went aground in clear calm weather but by the time the Salvor and Maude showed up a strong southeast wind started to blow which made salvage more difficult and damaged Vadso’s bottom even more. After losing a boiler over board that the Maude was trying to get on the Vadso’s deck the salvers called it off for the day. The next day they got some big 600 ton an hour pumps on her. After making temporary patches from canvas, wood, and cement they refloated her and beached her at Comox where they made the patches good for the tow to Esquimalt."

On 25/01/1914 she struck an uncharted rock in Observatory Inlet. The Chief Officer, Lawrence Thompson, ordered two boats to be lowered. She was carrying petroleum products in drums as deck cargo bound for a cannery. As the vessel rolled over the deck cargo broke loose causing damage to the superstructure. The crew (some reported at the time to have been partially dressed) abandoned ship in the boats. The oil drenched decks were ignited by flames coming from the engine room as the vessel foundered. Rowing 12 miles through a snow storm the crew arrived at the Arrandale Cannery. The cannery tended Venture carried them back to Vancouver BC.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) The Wreck of the Vadso at Cape Lazo 1908. 2017.

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