ACCIDENTS ON STEAMERS AND BARGES.
The week before last we received a communication giving an account of a corporal of the Grenadier Company of 67th Regt. having been unfortunately drowned, by falling from the steamboat Prince Albert, about fifteen miles above Long Island, when on his way to join his brother in the 23rd Regt. at Montreal. The letter conveying this intelligence, contains some reflections on those in charge of the steamer, for not using the proper exertions to save him; and also insinuates, that there is a degree of carelessness on the part of the proprietors in not having the prompt and necessary convenience on board their vessels for saving life, in case of accidents of the kind; but as our correspondent has not chosen to give us his name, we cannot vouch for the truth of his assertions, and are inclined to think, from the opposition which now exists on this line, the proprietors would not willingly omit any thing conducive to the comfort or safety of their passengers; and on this subject we have heard no complaint before the one alluded to. Nor are we inclined to ascribe so great of indifference to those on board at the time, as our informant would wish to insinuate - for it appears from his letter, that directions were given to settlers on shore to search for the body, and if found, that deceased's watch might be given in charge to some respectable person to be forwarded to his brother in Montreal. After going to press last week, a letter reached us from Mr. Gates, one of the Coroners of the Ottawa District, stating, that on the morning of the 15th instant, the body of a male child, apparently about six years of age, had been found floating in the Ottawa River, about half a mile above the village of L'Orignal. An inquest was held on the body, when the Jury returned a verdict, that "the said child, (a boy) came to his death by falling from a steamboat or barge, in passing up the Ottawa." We have been requested to give the above piece of information publicly, in order that the parents of the deceased, should this paragraph meet their eyes, might have the melancholy satisfaction to know, that the body of their child was found and decently interred. While noticing this subject, we would take the opportunity of expressing our regret, that there exists no regulation to prevent the owners of barges from overcrowding them with passengers at this season, when the emigrants are arriving. There are wholesome laws enforced to guard against the cupidity of ship owners, by preventing them taking a greater number of passengers than their vessels can easily accommodate; and we do not think that the Forwarding Companies are so totally exempt from this sin as to render similar regulations unnecessary in transporting the poor emigrants by our inland navigation. It is true, that it may be alleged, that there would be a difficulty in carrying such regulations into effect, and in some instances it might be attended with the separation of families into different barges, and a temporary breaking up of ties of acquaintanship, which had been formed during their association in a vessel in a transatlantic voyage; but these sacrifices are but trivial, when they may be the means of preserving life. It ought to be a part of the duty of the emigrant agents at the different ports, to guard against too great a number of those perons being crowded into one barge; and moreover, it would not materially enhance the expence to the owners, to have every steamboat and barge provided with a Life Buoy, so placed that it could be readily cut away for the assistance of any poor wight who might have the misfortune to topple overboard. [Bytown Gazette]
Montreal Gazette, July 6, 1842
p.2 Launch - On Saturday the 18th instant, was launched at Port Hope, a very fine schooner, called the Anne Jane Brown, burthen about 120 tons, the property of Messrs. Marsh and Sexton. She darted ? into her native element, inside the harbour, in good style, in the presence of a large concourse of admiring spectators. [Cobourg Star]
The schooner Lady Bagot, of St. Catharines, was upset in a squall, on Thursday afternoon, when off Oak Orchard, distance about ten miles. Four of the crew were at the mast-head, at the time when the accident occurred, taking in the topsails. The whole crew clung to the wreck until about ten minutes after the vessel filled, when they were rescued by a small schooner, and conveyed on board the Ellen Park, which vessel immediately repaired to the wreck, and was soon followed, in obedience to a signal of distress, by the Canada. These vessels, and the united crews, laboured all night before the Lady Bagot was raised erect between them; she was then bailed until the entire deck was above water, and, at mid-day, on Friday, proceeded under sail and tow of the other two schooners, and made Port Dalhousie in safety, on Saturday afternoon. The credit of much praiseworthy merit and activity is due to the Captains - Symes, of the Ellen Park, Gilmour, of the Canada, and also to Captain King, of the Lady Bagot, for saving the wreck, and we are authorized by the owners thus gratefully to express it. [Niagara Chronicle]