The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 30, 1880

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The Wrecking Question.

Sir, We see by reports of the Parliamentary proceedings in the Mail of the 23rd inst., that Mr. Patterson mentions Mr. Pace, American Consul at Sarnia, as having reported to Washington that there was only one Canadian wrecking steamer on the chain of lakes which is fit for the business. Now there are a great many steamers on the Canadian side well adapted for relieving stranded vessels. We have four, all light-draught steamers, and well fitted for such work, and we have carried on the business very successfully for thirty years. We have 5 powerful pumps, capable of raising one hundred tons of water a minute, four pontoons capable of lifting 300 tons weight, submarine diving apparatus which we have long used with success, and all the other necessary appliances for wrecking purposes, and skilled men to use them.

We want no monopoly. All we want is that the two Governments, our own and that of the United States, should arrange their laws that we may have liberty to go and relieve vessels on the American shore as well as on the Canadian, without getting special permission. And, vice-versa, let the Americans come to our side if they wish whenever they can get the work to do.

We see no reason why the law for allowing vessels to get supplies under stress should not be construed by the two Governments as to give the right to take off a vessel which may be stranded or sunken. In other words, should not a vessel that is stranded or sunken be considered a vessel in distress? Let us have reciprocity in wrecking.


Calvin & Son, Garden Island, Ont. Dec. 28th.

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Dec. 30, 1880
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 30, 1880