The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Five Rescued From Wreck
Syracuse Journal (Syracuse, NY), Dec. 16, 1902

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Five Rescued From Wreck
Charlotte Life Savers Succeed After Hours Of Heroic Work In The Cold.

ROCHESTER, Dec. 16. - Exhausted and almost frozen, four men and one woman were rescued from the schooner barge John R. Noyes, in the teeth of a gale yesterday afternoon by the Charlotte life-saving crew. Their names are George Donovan, captain; James Ryan, mate; Mrs. James Ryan, his wife; James Ryan Jr., his son, and George Premo, all of Oswego.

At 4 o'clock in the afternoon the crew of the life boat near the barge, 20 miles out, bare of canvas, her bulwarks stove in, the windows of the cabin broken and the rigging gone. Not a soul was on the deck, which was thickly coated with ice. Repeated calls by the crew finally brought a head to view from the forecastle and then a fervent, "Thank God! You have found us!" broke over the waves.

Buffeted by the waves and chilled to the very marrow, Captain Gray, with the eight men comprising the life-saving crew at Charlotte, bent to the life boat for almost 20 hours before their task was accomplished, and those aboard the Noyes were brought to land. The conditions of the rescued and the rescuers were almost identical.

James Ryan, mate of the barge, said: "We left Charlotte last Thursday about 8 a.m., towed by the John E. Hall. We encountered heavy northeast gales almost from the start. We slowed down at the False Ducks light, 15 miles from lakeside. The weather was thick Friday morning, we fetched in at Long Point in thick weather. In the afternoon we made Long Point and ran to the Ducks for shelter, but were not able to make it. A heavy northeast gale was blowing.

"We hung off the Ducks till 1 o'clock Saturday morning when the wind let go. Then we drifted around I couldn't tell you where the ---- we didn't go. We heard the Hall blowing signals of distress about 1 o'clock Saturday morning and I guess she has gone to the bottom. God pity them! We know something has happened as I heard her blowing signals of distress."

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Dec. 16, 1902
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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.
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Five Rescued From Wreck