The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), Dec. 6, 1886

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The Terrible Sufferings Of A Crew of Brave Canadian Sailors.

The schr. Ariadne, wrecked near Oswego, was loaded with barley from Bath. Thomas Cox, sailor, who was rescued in a half-frozen condition, related the particulars of the wreck. On Tuesday the jib was blown away, and three feet of water filled the hold. Then the main boom was carried away, and later the fore gaff and the main sheet. Subsequently the vessel ran on the "Drowned Islands," and after pounding for hours slipped off and dragged along towards the shore bringing up 200 yards from the beach. The waves raked the vessel fore and aft and soon the top of the cabin, in which the men were huddled, was swept off. They climbed into the main rigging. "Every rope," said Cox, "was covered with three inches of ice and we had been wet to the skin from 8 o'clock the night previous. Our clothes froze quickly, and the spray coated us heavily with ice. While we were in the main rigging the mainmast was carried away, but fell against the foremast. All, except the captain, got out of the tangle, and, by a great efort, reached the fore-rigging. The captain remained aft and a big wave swept him into the lake. He grabbed a plank as he went over, but he soon sank. The vesse began to break up rapidly, and we thought the foremast was going to fall, so we climbed down out of the rigging and huddled together in the bow, which and about ten feet of deck remained above water, but every sea went clean over it. Every man for himself. Half drowned and nearly frozen we clung to the deck. About 8 o'clock in the morning Charles Dean, of Shannonville, was frozen to death at our feet. He sank to the deck and we had not the strength to do anything for him. He spoke the name of his wife at the last and said, "God have mercy on my soul." His body froze solidly to the deck. Two hours afterwards the captain's father, 68 years old, began to give up. He died hard. It was the worst sight I ever saw. He first became blind, then deaf, then raved like a maniac. Just before he became quiet he turned his face up and said: "Tell my dear wife how I died, and that my last thoughts were of her." The last word he spoke was the name of his wife. His body also froze to the deck close to our feet. The rest of us gave up two or three times, and once I got a plank to endeavor to swim ashore. A big wave came over the wreck that nearly knocked the breath out of me and I lost the plank. About noon we were badly frozen, and completely exhausted. We could see the people making signs to us from the shore, and we saw the life boat coming. Mulligan was insensible and would have died in ten minutes. We lost everything but the clothing on our backs."

Serious Stabbing Case - firemen from strs. Jessie Hall and Bronson attacked in street.



The steamer Annie Laurie is being repaired at Clayton.

The schr. Picton with barley from Napanee to Oswego, is frozen in at Deseronto and will have to winter there.

The schr. Annandale, owned by Carruthers Bros., is loaded with coal at Oswego for Toronto at a big rate.

The arrivals in port since Saturday night were: schr. Annie M. Foster, Oswego, 147 tons coal; steambarges Resolute, Glengarry and Reliance, Oswego, light.

The men frozen on the schr. Ariadne were Capt. McKay, his father, and Charles Dean. Those rescued were Edward Mulligan and W. Clark, of Picton, and an unknown. These men were lashed to the rigging, covered with ice, and badly frozen.

Capt. Bates, of the schr. Craftsman, owned by W. Lewis of this city, has entered a complaint for negligence against W. Box, keeper of the beacon light at Oswego, for not ringing the fog bell during a wild storm on Wednesday evening last.

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Date of Original:
Dec. 6, 1886
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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), Dec. 6, 1886