The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 1, 1883

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p.3 He Had A Narrow Escape - John Darkin, who was in charge of the raft broken up near Collinsby, had a narrow escape from drowning. He says that the raft was struck by a gale from the west. The water became very lumpy and rose and fell with short choppy waves. The water lifted the raft up and then scattered it as a man would scatter a bunch of matches. He was on the stern dram, made a desperate effort and reached the sound drams. He ran over the timbers, which were bobbing up and down, but how he reached a point of safety he could scarcely tell. An Indian had also to run for his life. All told there were twenty-five men on the raft.


A private telegram states that the prop. Oneida is sunk six miles below Clayton.

For the balance of the season the Maud will make but one trip daily, leaving the city at 1:45 p.m.

The prop. Myles takes coal from Charlotte to Duluth at $2.25 per ton, a good rate for this season of the year.

Last night Capt. J.F. Allan, wrecker, left with the str. Chieftain, schr. Denmark and steam pumps, to rescue the schr. Siberia.

The steamer Rothesay, the fast boat of the American line, will be hauled out and during the winter rebuilt at Powers Marine Railway. The work will be made very complete, and in connection with it there will be an expenditure of about $50,000. Mr. Bushel has left for Ogdensburg to bring the steamer to Kingston.

Fire In the M.L. Breck.

About ten o'clock yesterday morning a fire broke out in the cabin of the schr. M.L. Breck, lying at Port Dalhousie. The captain was heating tar for the repair of the decks and it caught fire. When discovered the draught from an open door made it impossible for any one to enter the cabin, and had it not been for timely assistance from the tugs Hector and Maggie, turning their hose on the flames, the disaster would have been very great. As it was the cabin was gutted and Captain Bang lost all his clothing. Mr. H. Julien owns the Breck. No insurance.

Str. City of Toronto Burned.

The steamer City of Toronto was burned to the water's edge at Port Dalhousie last night. The fire broke out amidships a little after 9 o'clock and lasted till 1 o'clock in the morning. The boat was taken to the Port from Niagara this fall and had her paddle boxes taken off and her shaft cut at each end to enable her to pass through the new canal, and was to have been thoroughly rebuilt by the Muir Bros. She was owned by the Hon. H.J. Daggeth, of Oswego, N.Y. Loss $30,000. Insured for a comparatively small amount.

Wrecked On Lake Erie.

On Tuesday, during a severe gale, the schr. Siberia, of Garden Island, loaded with square oak timber from Toledo to Garden Island, went ashore on Long Point, Lake Erie, a most treacherous place. When the vessel was off Port Burwell on Tuesday morning she began to leak. The men were put to the pumps, but in spite of their efforts the water gained six feet in one hour. The men gave up the work and their next idea was to beach her. They put her about for shore in hopes of reaching the end of Long Point, but when waterlogged the vessel became unmanageable and went ashore one mile west of the lighthouse, having lost her foresail, topsail and three jibs. The crew and cook - eight men and one woman - took to the rigging and remained there for several hours. The life boat crew from Port Rowan found it impossible to launch a boat because of the heavy sea then running. The life-boat crew waited on the beach all night and succeeded in getting the crew off safe yesterday morning at 8 o'clock. The woman suffered considerably from 24 hours exposure with nothing to eat. Two horses on board were drowned. The sea swept from stem to stern. The vessel now lies in 11 feet of water. It is doubtful if she can be got off this fall.

The schr. Siberia, of 397 tons burthen, was built in July, 1875, at Garden Island by H. Rooney. She is owned by Calvin and Son, rates A-2 and is valued at $12,000. James Short was captain and Antoine DeRush mate.

Responsibility of Vessel Owners.

In the United States District Court, Chicago, Judge Blodgett rendered a decision of considerable importance to vessel owners, as it relates to the responsibility of carrying cargoes in unseaworthy craft. In June 1880, Purvis & Dunn shipped a cargo containing 19,000 bush. of corn to Kingston on the schooner Lily Hamilton. The schooner was but six years old, and classed by the insurance companies as A-2. She left Chicago and proceeded as far as the Welland Canal without mishap. While in the canal and towing through a rocky cut at Thorold, she struck a rock, which stopped her headway. The rock rolled under and she passed over it. After going 500 feet further she filled with water and settled to the bottom. A diver made an examination of her as she lay on the bottom and discovered a hole eight inches in diameter between the frames on her starboard bow under the turn of the bilge. Before the hole could be stopped up 11,000 bushels of corn of her cargo was wet, the remainder being taken out dry and turned over to the underwriters, the Phoenix Insurance Company. When the vessel had been raised and placed in the drydock it was found that the plank through which the hole had been punched was worn down to only one and one half inches in thickness. The damaged grain was sold at Thorold for 15 cents per bu. and suit was brought by the shippers of the cargo against the owners of the schooner to recover damages. The libellants claimed that the vessel was unseaworthy on account of the thinness of her plank at the time the cargo was taken on board, and therefore her owners were liable for damages. The defendants say that they were not aware that the planks were worn, and proved that the vessel was perfectly tight on her voyage, and would have taken the cargo through safely had she not struck a rock; also that the force of the blow was sufficient to have broken a plank three or four inches in thickness. Judge Blodgett, however, decided that the planks were too thin for a seaworthy vessel and held that the owners were liable for loss and damages.

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Nov. 1, 1883
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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.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), Nov. 1, 1883