The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 4, 1857


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p.2 The Wreck of the Inkermann

The dreadfully shattered appearance, presented by the wreck itself, shows the violence of the explosion. The remains of the vessel lie in the Bay, a few yards east of Upton & Browne's wharf. The only portion of it presenting anything like its original appearance, is that part lying forward from the office where the books and papers of the vessel were kept to her bows, a distance of some 20 feet. The deck and bulwarks of this section, though greatly shattered and broken through in numerous places, have not been blown away. But of the remaining section of the vessel no deck could be seen, save in planks split and broken into all shapes and drifting about in the Bay, or mixed with the mass of timber and iron, scattered over the wreck. The bulwarks were also completely blown away on the larboard side. On the starboard side, they were partly standing, though in a very dilapidated condition. The bottom of the vessel has been, it is believed, broken through in many places but not to any great extent, with the exception, perhaps, of the amidships. Here a deep indentation must have been made. Every particle of her had been blown away, and a wide gap of some twenty feet yawned between the extreme fore and aft. The only means of crossing this gap, was by boat; and, as a very heavy swell prevailed in the Bay during the evening, and the footing on the vessel was anything but the firmest, and the operation of getting into the boats was accomplished, in more than one instance, only after the operator had received a wetting.

Those parties who witnessed the explosion from a distance state that they saw several parts of the vessel's machinery hurled a great distance into the air. And such seems to have been the real state of the case. The steam-drum, which is a very heavy piece of machinery fitting on top of the boiler, was blown from its position a good height up in the air, and fell a distance of at least fifteen yards away. In falling, it turned upside down, the head coming foremost and crashing through the deck down as far as the hold of the vessel. The large stay-bolts, by which it had been bolted to the boiler, were torn away by it. Beside it lay a portion of the massive iron steam pipe, which appears to have been snapped asunder. The remainder of this pipe lay aft. One of the most extraordinary effects of the explosion is, however, shown by the appearance of the foremast. Round it, the immense iron anchor-chain was flung. The chain weighs at least one ton and a half, and appears to have dropped over the masthead, passing inside the stays, to its present position. Now it hangs with one end twined around the mast, at a distance of some fifty feet above the level of the Bay, while the other is in the Bay. The gangway was also thrown into the Bay, several feet ahead of the vessel.

Near the gangway the only marks of blood visible were to be seen. The stains were not, however, very deep ones, being probably much obliterated by the water.

An eyewitness of the explosion informs us that when the smoke cleared away, he saw three men aft; one man appeared to be on the taffrail, and was black in the face, while three were forward.

The wreck is now in charge of Captain Moodie, who has instructions from the Mayor to see to the saving of the goods and also to assist in raising the bodies. Of the goods a large portion consists of glass and crockery ware, which was consigned to a firm in St. Catherines. [Leader 30th]

p.3 Imports - 2,3.

ad for str. Bowmanville, Capt. Perry, for Toronto and Hamilton.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
June 4, 1857
Local identifier:
KN.22838
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), June 4, 1857