Other Names: Date of Sinking: October 3, 1928
Rig/Type: Four Masted Schooner/barge Cause of Sinking: Blown up for movie The Rescue
Length: 162.2' Breadth: 37.3' Tons: 548 Cargo: None
Built: 1898, Hoquim Location: Cat Harbor
Hull Construction: Wood Depth: ~175' Visibility: 15'

The Dauntless, underway with a light load.

A profile view of the four-master, bald headed schooner.

The Dauntless (center) is shown moored near the Balboa Pavilion, Newport Beach c.1925.

Built by G. H. Hitchings for the E. K. Wood Lumber Co., she plied the Eastern Pacific, transporting lumber from the northern lumber mills to the large cities in the south.  Her last paying voyage was to San Francisco with a cargo of Copra from Tonga in 1923. After a brief lay up, she was sold to movie interests and sailed one last time to Newport Beach in 1924.  

It is not clear what became of her in between 1924 and 1928. She may have been used as a fishing barge and some paintings depict her as moored off the Balboa Pavilion during that time.

In September of 1928, the Samuel Goldwyn pictures owned the Dauntless, renamed it the "Emma" and planned to blow it up for the movie The Rescue.  Once permission from the Army Engineers and the Santa Catalina Island Co. was obtained, Merritt-Chapman & Scott was hired to blow the vessel up at then entrance to Cat Harbor.

One October 3, she moored off the harbor entrance, not far from Cat Head when a huge explosion shattered her hull, sending large pieces of timber into the air.  What little of her hull remained settled to the bottom.  Merritt-Chapman & Scott swept over the sunken hull which lay in 27 fathoms, verifying that there was no hazard to navigation.  Some surface debris was collected, brought ashore and burned.

This wreck has yet to be discovered, but given the nature of the explosion it is likely that much remains.  Only one copy of the The Rescue is known to exist in the George Eastman Film Library.

The following are production stills of The Rescue, staring Ronald Colman.




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