RUSSIA Propeller. U. S. No. 110063. Built 1872, of 1,501 Gross Tons. April 30, 1909 vessel foundered at Point Detout, Lake Michigan, and became a total loss. Of 20 persons on board no lives were lost.
Loss of U. S. Vessels Reported in
Fiscal Year 1909. M.V.U.S., 1909
. . . . .
VESSELS AND LIVES ARE LOST
IN STORMS AND ICE OF GREAT LAKES
TUG NESTOR WRECKED AND THE CREW DROWNED.
Steamer Russia Foundered, But those on Board Saved.
AURANIA CRUSHED IN FLOE AND WRECKED; CREW SAVED.
Detroit, May 1. -- A bulletin to the Journal from Houghton, Mich., says the tug NESTOR has been sunk in Lake Superior with all hands.
RUSSIA FOUNDERS IN SUPERIOR.
Port Huron, Mich., May l.--The captain of the package freight and passenger steamer RUSSIA, owned by C. O. Duncan, of this city, telegraphed today to the owner from De Tour that his vessel had sunk in Lake Superior, 12 miles off that port, and that all of the crew were saved.
The RUSSIA plied between Port Huron and Duluth and was on her first trip of the season. She was built in 1872 and is of 1501 tons, with a length of 232 feet and a beam of 36 feet.
- - - - -
Sault Ste. Marie, May 1. -- Capt. Robert C. Pringle of the Corrigan Line steamer AURANIA, arrived here today with all the members of his crew and told the story of the sinking of his ship in Whitefish Bay off the foot of Parisian Island on Thursday morning.
Capt. Pringle left here last Sunday with the AURANIA and when he reached Whitefish Bay was caught in the ice. Thursday morning Capt. Pringle discovered that his ship was leaking rapidly. The ice had crushed in her sides. Distress signals were hoisted, but Capt. Pringle declares that several ships which passed near made no effort to aid the AURANIA. It finally became apparent that the steamer was sinking. The crew climbed down to the ice, taking with them one small yawl to use in crossing the gaps in the ice field and started for the steamer J. H. BARLOW also fast in the ice three miles away. The perilous trip was made in safety, and the BARLOW eventually brought all hands here.
BUFFALO MAN IN CREW OF AURANIA,'TIS SAID
It is supposed there were a number of Buffalo men in the crew of the steamer AURANIA , lost in Whitefish Bay, as the boat wintered at the Tifft Farm and cleared April 20. At the shipping office of the Lake Carriers' Association today it was said that the Association had no record of the crew. Capt. Robert C. Pringle of Cleveland commanded the boat when she left Buffalo with a cargo of coal for Lake Superior and Edward Cleveland of Duluth was chief engineer.
The AURANIA was one of the vessels in the Corrigan fleet of Cleveland. She was 352 feet long and 44 feet beam. Her gross tonnage was 3318 tons and her net tonnage 2899. She was built in 1895.
Buffalo Evening News
Saturday, May 1, 1909
. . . . .
DEATH AND DISASTER ON STORM SWEPT GREAT LAKES.
VESSELS LOST AND CREWS DROWNED
FEW DAYS IN HISTORY OF LAKE NAVIGATION MORE DISASTROUS.
Big Steel Lighter BATAVIA Found Deserted By Crew With Table Set For Dinner
AURANIA BATTERED TO PIECES; MEN MAKE THEIR WAY TO SAFETY.
Detroit, May 1. - Three vessels lost, one with her crew of seven men, and a fourth craft flound floating deserted on Lake Michigan, with her fate unknown, is the day's summary of disasters from storm and ice on the great lakes.
On the bleak and rocky shores of Huron island, last night, the schooner GEORGE NESTER, of Detroit, was torn to pieces by the furious gale that swept over Lake Superior, and all of her crew of seven were lost.
On Lake Huron, lashed by the same gale, the package freighter RUSSIA, of Port Huron, succumbed to the waves after her cargo had shifted, and went to the bottom. The 22 men crew of the RUSSIA, however succeeded in safely putting over their small boats and escaping in them.
On Lake Michigan, the Ann Arbor Railway Car Ferry No. 1, picked up 19 miles south of Fox island, the big steel freighter BATAVIA, deserted by her crew and with no positive evidence as to whether they perished or were taken off the Lighter by the steamer which is believed to have towed her.
CRUSHED BY ICE.
To these three stories of marine disasters was added from Saul Ste. Marie with the arrival there of the crew of the steamer AURANIA, the first story of how she was crushed by the ice and sank , and how the members of the crew made a perilous way over nearly four miles of ice floe to the steamer J. H. BARLOW.
Bound up Lake Superior for cargo behind the steamer SCHOOLCRAFT, the schooner GEORGE NESTER met the full force of the terrific gale. Off Huron Islands, the tow line was broken and, the schooner went on the rocks. The furious waves made it impossible to launch small boats from either the schooner or the light house tender MARIGOLD, which was close behind, to go to the rescue of the seven men aboard the schooner. The NESTER went to pieces rapidly and every member of the crew was lost. The MARIGOLD made efforts to take the imperilled men off the wreck with life lines, but unsuccessfully.
The RUSSIA was bound for Duluth on her first trip of the season with a full cargo of freight, when 12 miles off Detour the RUSSIA'S cargo shifted. The steamer began to fill, Capt. John McLean of Port Huron and his crew of 22, launched their small boats into the raging sea and succeeded in saving their lives. The arrived at Detroit today.
The RUSSIA was built in 1872 and was owned by C. O. Duncan of Port Huron. For many years she sailed in the Anchor Line fleet of passenger boats and was one of the best known craft on the lakes.
It is a strange story of marine mystery which the big Ann Arbor car ferry brought into port with her today when she arrived towing behind her the big steel lighter BATAVIA, which was built in 1904 for the Lehigh Valley Transportation Company. The car ferry found the lighter tossing on the waves south of Fox Islands with no crew aboard. In the dining room was evidence that there had been a crew. The dining room table was set as for dinner.
HAWSER WAS CUT.
But nothing except the severed hawser indicated a possible solution of the crew's whereabouts. Marine men think that the evidence which the hawser bore of being cut may mean that the tug or steamer which had the lighter in tow found it necessary in the gale to cast her loose, and if so probably took off the crew before leaving the steel hulk at the mercy of the storm. Lighters of this style usually carry, marine men say crews of four to ten men.
Safe and sound, after the loss of their ship, the crew of the Corrigan steamer AURANIA came into the Soo aboard the J. H. BARTOW and told a thrilling story of their experiences. Caught fast in a great ice floe in Whitefish Bay they could only watch the relentless force bear harder and harder against the sides of their ship until they were crushed and the water poured in. When it was evident that she was doomed they left the AURANIA and took to the ice.
Carrying with them one small yawl boat with which to ferry themselves over the patches of open water in the floe, the men, headed by Capt. Robert C. Pringle, made a perilous way over to the steamer BARLOW, also held so fast in the ice four miles away that she could not go to the AURANIA'S assistance. All arrived uninjured, and were cared for aboard the BARLOW. The left Sault Ste. Marie today for Cleveland.
Buffalo Sunday Morning News
Sunday, May 2, 1909
Steam screw RUSSIA. U. S. No. 110063. Of 1,501.77 tons gross; 1,334.57 tons net. Built Buffalo, N.Y., 1872. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. Of 502 H. P.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1884