Steamer Mills High and Dry on Ford Shoals
Captain Peterson, one of the Owners, Arrived Here Today and is Making an Inspection of the Wreck This Afternoon - Went Up with Coast Guard Boat
Frank J. Peterson, Cleveland, O., one of the firm of Peterson & Collins, owners of the steamer David W. Mills, which lays high and dry on Ford Shoals, arrived here this morning and during the day took a drive out to Snake Swamp to look over the wreck. The Mills is high and dry on the shoal. The bows are over in deep water but the stern is out high and dry, showing the wheel and the shoe. It is questioned by some whether the boat can be released without tearing her to pieces, and then it will be necessary to make temporary repairs and take the hull to Kingston, Ont., to be patched up, or if not there to Buffalo. There is no dry dock here upon which she can be taken from the water for repair.
This morning the boat still had steam up and the crew or part of them at least, are aboard awaiting for final instructions. If the boat is to be wrecked they will remain with her and if she is to be stripped and abandoned they will stay until the work has been completed.
Captain Clemens of the Coast Guard station, took Captain Peterson up to the wreck. The lifesavers have stuck by the wreck ever since she went on the shoal ready to render any assistance at a moment's notice. With almost any kind of sea the Mills is liable to get a good heavy roll from the surf and if it comes in good and heavy it will probably wash her off and up onto the gravely beach at the mouth of Snake Creek.
The loss of the boat or the wrecking of her will fall directly upon the owners as they carried their own insurance. Until Captain Peterson returns sometime this afternoon, it is not known what will be done towards wrecking the boat. Under ordinary conditions it is believed that she would be left to pound herself to pieces, but the scarcity of freight boats and the high rates paid for carrying coal makes the loss of a single bottom something to be deplored and a double loss to the owners.
Captain Peterson will confer with Captain Hinckley tonight and see what can be done towards wrecking the Mills.