Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Nile (Steamboat), collision, 30 Aug 1847
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There has been another fearful collision on our lakes. The large and powerful steamboats NILE and WISKONSAN have had one of those costly and dangerous tilts at each other, which seriously crippled the WISKONSAN, and damaged the NILE considerably. The particularsare as follows:-At about midnight, when the moon was shining bright and clear, the two boats met on Lake Huron, 40 miles above Fort Gratiot. The NILE bound up and the WISCONSAN bound down. As they neared each other the WISKONSAN shot across the bow of the NILE, when the latter struck her with great force, on the larboard side, at the wheel house, cutting the guard completely through to the hull. The consternation aboard the WISCONSAN was extreme, as it was expected at that time, she would bo to the bottom. Her passengers were immediately transferred to the NILE, when it was discovered that the NILE had a large hole stove in her bow, the passengers were all crowded aft, to keep the bow as high out of the water as possible, and taking the WISKONSAN in tow, they made their way to Palmer, on the St.Clair River, to repair damages. The force of the concussion can be judged from the fact that the massive wrought iron shaft of the WISKONSAN, 17 inches in diameter, was so badly bent as to be useless. Her crank was broken. If the blow had not been mainly spent on the large shaft, there is little doubt, but that the WISKONSAN would have been instantly sunk. The carpenters were busily at work on the NILE when our informant left, to enable her to proceed on her trip, and the WISKONSAN was fitting up to get down to Buffalo with one wheel, to be there overhauled.
      Buffalo Courier
      Thursday Sept. 2, 1847

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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: considerably damaged
Date of Original
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.640833 Longitude: -81.768055
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Nile (Steamboat), collision, 30 Aug 1847