The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), Sept. 3, 1858

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p.2 Boat Race - of skiffs at Kingston.


A Fearful Gale

Total Loss of the New Brunswick of Chatham, and Cargo

Five of the Crew Drowned!

This morning it falls to our lot to chronicle a melancholy loss of life and property, consequent upon the foundering of the barque New Brunswick, Captain McTavish, of this port, on Lake Erie, off Point Pelee, and within about five miles of the Romney shore. The Captain thus briefly narrates the calamity:-

"On Thursday night last, the 26th ult., at about ten o'clock, a sudden and fearful gale sprung up, blowing S.S.W. At this time the New Brunswick, owned by Mr. Henry Eberts, of Chatham, and freighted with walnut and square timber, the property of Messrs. W. & W. Eberts, was some five miles off the township of Romney, and near Point Pelee. So fearful was the gale that all management of the vessel was lost, and after weathering the sea for some time she foundered. As might be imagined, the position of the entire crew was most perilous. Without any apparent means of saving themselves at hand, the faint hope of preserving their lives seemed groundless. Upon a foundered vessel, in the midst of a terrific storm of wind and rain, at midnight, and five miles from land, hope of reaching the shore might well be banished from the stoutest heart. And little wonder was it that five persons, out of the nine composing the crew, found a watery grave ere daylight dawned. Evne when morning had come, the prospect of reaching shore was but little improved. Not a tool to help to construct a raft was to be obtained, and had it not been that Capt. McTavish, with the assistance of a small penknife, was enabled to detach a "boom" and "gaff," and with these materials to construct a miserable raft, not one soul would have been left to relate the sad tale of their sufferings. However, the raft was launched upon the angry waters, freighted with the precious weight of five mortal beings who left the foundered vessel, with the hope that, by paddling with their hands, they might gain the shore, five miles distant. This slow process had been industriously persevered in against the wind for five hours, when, to the great joy of the Captain, he espied relief coming towards them in the shape of a little boat, manned by Mr. Robert Shanks and his family, which boat was in such a bad state, that it was only kept from going to the bottom of the lake by its numerous leakages being stopped with clay. However, in this boat the survivors of the crew of the New Brunswick, consisting of Captain McTavish, Joseph Daree, mate, John Banks, and Duncan McVica, seamen, were, with much difficulty, brought to shore. The names of those drowned are as follows: Duncan Turner, James Riddle, baker, Archibald McMillan, a young man named Thomas ___, and the cook, Isaac Campbell, the latter of whom, during a fit of delirium, sank from the raft not more than ten minutes before Mr. Shanks came to their succor. The vessel and cargo were uninsured. The New Brunswick was a vessel of the largest size and fully loaded. Mr. Shanks and family are entitled to great praise for the promptness, humanity and generosity exhibited by them towards those whose lives they were instrumental in saving." In conclusion, the Captain thinks that the poet's words - "Man's inhumanity to man," etc. are peculiarly applicable to certain persons named Dawson and Edwards, who lived nearly opposite the wreck, but yet who, notwithstanding they saw the perilous position of the Captain and his little band, from the break of day until they were rescued, made no attempt either to relieve them themselves, or to cause their melancholy position to be made known to their near neighbors. Captain McTavish and his fellow survivors arrived at Chatham late on Saturday night.

(this article also appears in Whig of same date where it is credited to Chatham Planet of Aug. 30th - ed.)

Imports - 1,2; Exports - 2.

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Sept. 3, 1858
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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), Sept. 3, 1858