ANOTHER SAFEGUARD DESIGNED FOR THE GREAT LAKES SAILOR
What seems to be a further improvement, from a safety standpoint, to the wire cables required this season on the large lake freighters, and which are equipped with the breeches buoy, is a device perfected by a Duluth inventor. He has been granted letters patent on his invention. It consists of a ring life-buoy rigged on a double tackle, rove through blocks on the fore and aftermasts, traveling the length of the ship at a height sufficient to clear the highest seas that may board her.
The ring is fitted with a "breeches" attachment similar to the breeches buoy used by the life savers, and by aid of this men can be transferred from one end of the ship to the other in perfect safety under the most unfavorable conditions.
The loss of life on the Mataafa last fall, when the after crew perished because they were unable to reach the forward end of the boat, suggested the invention.
The modern ship is long and has no bulwarks and when loaded shows only a few feet of free side, therefore to pass along her decks in a storm is a perilous matter. But this has to be done occasionally. Hatch covers work loose and must be fixed; men on watch have to be relieved and the sailor must risk his life to obey orders, but with the new device a seaman can be hauled in perfect safety fore and aft by men stationed on the pilot house and on the cabins on the stern.
All freighters were equipped with cables running fore and aft last spring in accordance with the amended steamboat rules, and the new life buoy has been placed on a number of new ones recently launched.