The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), December 3, 1902

Full Text
Crew Lists Should Not be Kept Only Aboard the Boats
Send Copies to Owners Ashore Before Vessel Leaves Port
Would Not Then Be Hard To Ascertain Who Is Lost

That there is something wrong in the manner in which the crew lists of vessel on the lakes are now handled has been evidenced half a dozen times within the past few weeks, and no less than three times within as many days.

When the steamer Macy foundered in Lake Erie it was impossible to learn, aside from a few of the officers and one or two of the crew, who were aboard when the boat left Buffalo.

When the steamer C. B. Lockwood went down off Ashtabula it was likewise impossible to get the names of all who were lost. Some of them are not yet identified.

When the Canadian steamer Bannockburn was long overdue and several days before it was known for a certainty that she was lost, the names of those who had shipped as members of the crew could be found only to a limited extent.

The steamer Hebard, lost in Lake Superior last Saturday night, was no exception. Until it was known that the crew was safe, those who comprised it were not known for a certainty.

Some reform should be advocated and carried out by members of the Lake Carrier's Association. There should be a system making it compulsory with the master of a vessel, before he leaves port, to send his owner a copy of the crew list corrected up to the time the vessel cleared. This should be mailed and then, should anything happen to the vessel there would be a way of knowing to a certainty who was lost.

In this manner needless worry and sorrow could be saved to friends and relatives, long litigation over the settlement of estates could be disposed of more satisfactorily and it would be the working of a great good to the families of those who sail the lakes.

Media Type:
Item Type:
This little clipping helps explain why there were so many "unknown sailors" lost on lakes shipwrecks and how late it was in Great Lakes history before anything was done about the problem.
Date of Original:
December 3, 1902
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
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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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), December 3, 1902