The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Friday, Aug. 10, 1917

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The Loss of the Schooner Marsh.
She Went to the Bottom Just as Day was Breaking,
Throwing Everyone Into the Water.

Kingston, Aug. 10. - The schooner George A. Marsh, which foundered on Wednesday with a loss of twelve lives, is sunk in twenty-five feet of water and probably no attempt will be made to salvage the boat. Neil MacLellan, who with William Smith, an uncle of Captain John W. Smith, were the only survivors, told the story of the shipwreck in Belleville yesterday, where he arrived with Captain Smith's little black dog Reine. They reached shore on a yawl which was turned bottom side up. Shortly after they cleared from Sodus on Tuesday, said Mr. MacLellan, in telling the story, a brisk wind arose from the South and in the night freshened to a gale.

About midnight it was discovered that the boat had sprung a serious leak and was rapidly taking water. The steam pump and siphons were immediately requisitioned and all those on board were aroused and brought out on deck. The wind was blowing from thirty five to fort miles an hour. A rain was beating down and the night was intensely dark. They were then not far from the Main Ducks group of islets and about twenty-five miles from Kingston. Owing to the direction of the wind the boat was headed for Pigeon island. The sea caused her to toss about and the straining to which she was subjected appeared to increase the trouble.

The watchers spent nearly five hours of the utmost anxiety. About five o'clock, she suddenly went down. She was then about two miles off Pigeon Island. In another twenty minutes or so, said Mr. MacLellan, she would have made shore as she was making fine progress before the wind. It was still raining at the time the boat sank; but daylight was breaking and it was possible to see about. The boat sank in about twenty-five feet of water. The spars are still visible.

When the schooner went down Mr. MacLellan dived in an endeavor to rescue his wife and son, but they were swept over the side and disappeared from view. He saw George Cousins, a sailor, and one of the little boys clinging to the provision box. He also saw Captain Smith come to the surface, but they were all lost.

The yawl was bottom side up and which McClellan and Smith, were enabled to grasp.

They drifted about eight miles before the gale towards Amherst Island and were finally rescued by Hugh McCartney and Benjamin Wemp, two Amherst Island fishermen who were out placing their nets. The rescue took place about 11;30 yesterday morning. About an hour earlier Greta Smith succumbed to the long exposure. Mr MacLellan said that he did not believe that he had his companion could have endured the strain more than ten minutes longer.

Captain J. W. Smith, who was lost, was a nephew of Captain Henry Smith, of the City of Dresden, which is in the Lake Ontario trade.

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Friday, Aug. 10, 1917
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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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Daily Palladium (Oswego, NY), Friday, Aug. 10, 1917