May 4, 1880 dawned with a gentle breeze fanning the flat surface of the Pacific Ocean. Conditions were ideal for commercial salmon fishing at the entrance to the Columbia River. Without warning a freak storm struck and within minutes the wind was blowing in excess of a hundred miles an hour.
Within a half-hour the entire Columbia River fishing fleet was lost, including 240 boats, and the loss of life was set at 325.
And the ocean, it showed not the slightest remorse.