The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 13, 1854

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p.2 The Cleveland Herald thus speaks of the wreck of the Omer: "On Monday we stood upon the east pier for nine hours while the sea was making breaches over the deck of a vessel upon the forecastle of which clustered and shivered seven seemingly doomed men. Thousands of people stood, regardless of the cutting sleet and piercing blast, looking upon the devoted hull, and longing to devise means for the rescue of the fated men - men whom they knew not, but whom they loved from the dictates of a common humanity. As one by one the life boats were shivered, a despondent shiver ran through the frames of the lookers on. When descending the rope from the mainmast to the pier, the unfortunate Burr, losing strength, was suspended in mid air, the hearts of the multitude ceased beating; and when he fell into the boiling surf a cry of horror sprung from their breasts. As rising he clung to the pile, their hopes rose with him; and when he struck out for the east pier, every eye was strained to watch his progress; but as he sunk exhausted, we saw many a bold, brave man avert his face while adown it streamed tears of regret. Afterward, when the younger Keich, checked by the splicing knot, hung helpless, and his brother the Captain, climbing to the head of the foremast, severed the line, the only one that connected the vessel with the shore and safety, there was not an eye in the crowd but beamed with a glance of pride at the self-sacrificial act that ensured a brother's safety. And when the propeller Paugesset, called into the service of mercy and of danger, was manned by a score of brave men, how the crowd gloried in the remark of Captain Monroe - "I may not save the crew, but if I don't I can make the propeller a breakwater to protect them from the heavy seas."

The report that the steamer John Counter was sunk at Quebec during the late storm we have ascertained to be altogether without foundation.

Marine News - The following is from the Toronto Colonist: -

"We regret to learn that the schooner Potomac, of Oswego, went ashore a short distance below Port Dalhousie, during the terrible snow storm on Monday last. The captain and one of the hands were drowned in attempting to effect a landing in a small boat. The remainder of the crew, seven men, with a woman, were saved on Tuesday, after remaining twenty-four hours on the wreck. They suffered terrible hardships, the vessel being one mass of ice. We believe those who were saved, owe their lives to the gallantry of some of the men of the Welland steamer, with some hands belonging to vessels in port, who put out in the life-boat of the Welland, at great risk, and succeeded in rescuing the survivors, when every hope seemed to have taken flight. A schooner from Toronto, also ran ashore at the Twenty: all hands saved. There is another ashore at the Four Mile Creek, but owing to the severity of the gale, no boat, at our last advice, had been able to reach her.

From the Rochester Union of Thursday evening:

Seven Vessels Wrecked on Lake Ontario - The late dreadful storm has made sad work among our lake shipping. The news of wrecks and disasters reach us daily. We learn from the Custom-house officers of this port, the following particulars of disasters: -

The schooner Franklin Pierce, (noticed yesterday) which went ashore four miles West of the river, was loaded with merchandise for Hamilton and other ports. She was lying at last accounts under water, and is a total loss. The crew were rescued by one of the Government life boats, manned by volunteers from Charlotte. The small boats of the schooner were swept away, and the crew would have doubtless perished, had not timely aid been rendered.

The schooner Enterprise, went ashore on Monday, near Braddock's Point, 18 miles west of the Genesee. He cargo is railroad iron and castings, and will probably be saved, though the vessel is doubtless lost.

The schooners Minerva and Isabella of Cleveland, are ashore between Oak Orchard and Niagara River, but we have no particulars.

A brig, name unknown, is ashore near Somerset, Niagara Co.

Two schooners are reported ashore near Pultneyville, 25 miles East of this city. They were doubtless part of the fleet which left Oswego on Sunday, and for which so much anxiety is felt.

St. Catherines, Dec. 12th - Canal remains closed with ice, little chance of vessels, of which there are many, getting through this winter. It is contemplated by the captains to cut their way through the ice with saws if the weather should prove favorable.

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Dec. 13, 1854
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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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Daily News (Kingston, ON), Dec. 13, 1854