The Late Steamboat Collision - Letter By An Eyewitness.
To The Editor of the Kingston Daily News:
Ogdensburg, July 28, 1862.
Dear Sir, - Understanding that a great deal of controversy has arisen in reference to the late collision, I beg leave to lay before the public the facts which came under my own observation, and, as both captains are strangers to me, I am in nowise an interested party. On the morning of the 24th instant, after passing the Ducks, I saw the steamer Empress bound down the Lake; I also saw the steamer Passport bound from Kingston to Hamilton. I saw the Empress's lights bearing after me when I was about abreast of South Bay Point, and saw her lights until the time of the collision. The Passport sounded her whistle several times. I was down in the cabin when the first whistle was sounded, and just came on deck when the second was given; I was in the range of the Ducks and Simcoe Lights, and was steering N.E. by N., and saw the Empress's lights, but before the collision took place could only see her green and masthead lights. She was steering to the Northward of her course to Simcoe Light, and evidently intended going on the wrong side of the Passport. The Empress did not reply to any of the Passport's signals. Full ten minutes elapsed from the time I heard the Passport's first whistle until the collision took place, and it is my firm belief that if the Empress had been on her proper course for Kingston or had put her helm aport as the law required her to do when the Passport made her first signal, that the collision would not have taken place.
I remain, Yours respectfully,
Imports - 30,31.