On April 1, 1946, Coast Guard Lightstation Scotch Cap was destroyed with a loss of all hands by a tsunami. Although the crew felt the earthquake they did not evacuate. Approximately 45 minutes passed after the earthquake before the arrival of the tsunami.
BMC Anthony Pettit
FN1 Jack Colvin
SN1 Dewey Dykstra
SN1 Paul Ness
MM2 Leonard Pickering
0130 Severe earthquake felt. Building rocked severely. Objects shaken from locker shelves. Duration approximately 30-40 seconds. Building creaked and groaned but no apparent damage. Weather clear, calm.
0157 Second severe quake felt. Shorter in duration but harder than at 0130... Again, no apparent damage, although building shook severely.
0218 Heard terrific roaring of the sea followed by huge sea immediately.
Top of wave rose above the cliff back of Scotch Cap light station
and struck D/F station causing considerable damage. Crew ordered
to high ground. Can't make radio contact so broadcast following
PP NMJ NNF NND TIDAL WAVE X MAY HAVE TO ABANDON THIS PLACE X BELIEVE NNHK LOST INT R INT R KKK
0245 Scotch Cap believed lost; lights extinguished and horn silent.
0300 Gathering emergency stores and clothing. Called crew back (as sea is apparently abating) to get more clothing and canned goods. Emergency lights rigged and carrying clothing and supplies pack.
0700 Went to light station; debris strewn all over place. Piece
of human intestine found on hill.
TIDAL WAVE PRECEDED BY EARTHQUAKE COMPLETELY DESTROYED SCOTCH CAP LIGHT STATION WITH LOSS OF ALL HANDS X TOP OF WAVE STRUCK THIS UNIT CAUSING EXTENSIVE DAMAGE BUT NO LOSS OF LIFE X ENGINE ROOM FLOODED OUT BUT EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO MAINTAIN EMERGENCY POWER IF NO FURTHER DAMAGE EXPERIENCED X WILL SEARCH FOR BODIES OF SCOTCH CAP PERSONNEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE X REQUEST INSTRUCTIONS.
Read the final report.
Return to Emergency and Disaster Planning Home Page