The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Daily Journal (Oswego, NY), May 3, 1853

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Burning of the Ocean Wave - More full Particulars

By an extra from the Ogdensburgh Sentinel office we have particulars, somewhat more in detail than we published in our telegraph yesterday morning. The Ocean Wave took fire from her furnaces, on her downward trip from Hamilton, when off "The Ducks," about 40 miles above Kingston, between one and two o'clock on Saturday morning. When the fire was first discovered, the boat, the boat was almost 1 1/2 miles from shore, and was immediately headed for land, but the heat becoming so intense that the machinery gave out, and the vessel drifted to Sea. The upper Cabin, he thinks, was consumed in about fifteen minutes and in about two hours the hull went down. Mr. Blackman saved himself by adhering to a couple of planks which had been thrown overboard.

He was at one time nearly 1/4 of a mile from the burning Steamer, but the wind drifted the wreck upon him, and he secured his planks to the rudder, where two or three others were already clinging, where they remained until taken off by the schooner Georgiana.

Mr. Blackman says that while on the wreck, a high pressure steamer passed without rendering assistance, merely inquiring the name of the burning boat. The Ocean Wave had on board 14 cabin and 9 deck passengers besides 4 children and the crew, who swelled the total number to about 50, 22 of whom were saved.

Among the crew saved were Captain Wright, and both mates, Mr. Thomas Oliver, Purser, both Wheelsmen, 2d Engineer, Mr. Blackman, and a number of deck hands. Among the passengers saved were Mr. Francis Kiah and Wife, both of whom were considerably but not dangerously burned; Mrs. French of Cornwall, and a Lady, wife of the Cashier of the Gore Bank, Hamilton. These three ladies were all the females saved.

Mr. Blackman speaks in the highest terms of the heroic conduct exhibited by Mr. Oliver and the 2d mate. The lady from Hamilton was saved from the personal exertions of the 2d Mate, who tore her night clothes to strings, and with them lashed her to a part of the wreck, floating in the water, and when she had nearly perished with cold, held her up to the fire which revived her. Mr. Oliver was the last man to leave the wreck.

A small vessel on her way down, sent her boat to the assistance of the sufferers; but the men in the boat being frightened pulled away again. The Georgiana then hove in sight, lowered her boat, which manned with her mate and two sailors, succeeded in picking up the eighteen saved with Mr. Oliver. At one time the two sailors in the boat of the Georgiana exhibited signs of weakness, and were about to pull back, when the mate ordered them forward with the exclamation that he "would save the sufferers or perish with them." About two minute after the rescue, the wreck went down. The vessel had drifted about eight miles from shore before she sunk.

The Captain, first mate and one passenger reached the shore near the scene of the disaster. Among those lost, are Mr. Turnbull, first Engineer; Julius Sanford, Bar-keeper; the cook, who resided in this Village; a Mrs. McDonald, also from this place; a nurse and two children of the wife of the Cashier of the Gore Bank; three ladies names not known; Mr. Fisk, of the firm of H.S. Humphrey Co., was aboard,and is supposed to be lost. The whole number lost is twenty-eight.

Mr. Oliver, Purser; remained at Kingston, taking care of those severely burned; two of whom are now in the Hospital at that place. On his arrive we shall have full particulars of the lamentable occurrence.

The Ocean Wave was a new steamer, this being her second season. She was insured, we understand, for about $40,000.

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May 3, 1853
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Richard Palmer
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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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Oswego Daily Journal (Oswego, NY), May 3, 1853