The Canadian steam barge ENTERPRISE, which went aground near Cockburn Island, Lake Huron, some time ago, and was recently released, foundered off Point aux Barques Sunday night with the loss of 8 lives. She was bound down in tow of the tug BALIZE with a crew of 13 men aboard, and steam pumps at work to keep her clear of water. When off Point aux Barques at 2 o'clock, she gave the signal that she was sinking and 2 minutes afterward had disappeared. 5 were saved by boats from the BALIZE.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, December 10, 1883
One of the most terrible disasters of the season occurred on Lake Huron on the morning of the 10th. inst. A wrecking outfit on the tug BALIZE left Detroit to release the steambarge ENTERPRISE, which went ashore about four weeks ago near Cockburn Island, with a cargo of merchandise for Port Arthur. The steamer was lightered and pulled off. Extra care was taken by placing two large canvas jackets under her bottom,and this being done theboat did not leak enough to keep one of the two steam pumps going. All went well until the BALIZE, towing the ENTERPRISE, arrived off Point Barques Light, bearing Southwest, at 2 a.m. when Captain J.J. Reardon, who had charge of the outfit, heard the steam whistle from the pump blowing. He answered the three calls and had the mate of the BALIZE stop the tug. All hands were called to get the boat down. The tow line was cut from the tug, and every effort was made to get alongside of the wreck before she went down. Just before they could get around, the barge sunk from sight. Every line on the tug was made ready to throw to the men clinging to the parts of the floating wreck. Pat Quinn, of Detroit, well known on the lakes,was the first to reach the side of the tug. The poor fellow had been at work on the steam pump and had grease on his clothes and hands. The rope slipped through his fingers twice. The third time, one of the crew of the BALIZE reached down to pull him up, Quinn holding to the rope with his teeth,until he was in the hands of this man,who had hold of his jacket, when a sea struck Quinn and he slipped through his grasp and fell back into the water and was seen no more. The following were lost:- J.M. Graw, of Oswego, and second engineer of the ENTERPRISE. Charles Carboy, with Murphy's steam pump. Dan L. Jones, Windsor, with Odetts steam pump. Charles Williams, Chicago, deck hand. Two firemen on the ENTERPRISE, names unknown. Mrs Peters, cook on the ENTERPRISE, did not get on the wreck, but took passage on the BALIZE and was saved. William Sampson, of Windsor, engineer of the ENTERPRISE, picked up by the BALIZE's yawl and saved. Fredrick Wagner, of Buffalo saved by the BALIZE. Peter Lyon, of Sarnia, badly hurt about the chest, head, right arm and hands, picked up more dead than alive by the BALIZE yawl. This man is delirious at 5 o'clock. Arthur Merger of Coronia, Ont., wheelsman, saved by the yawl. William Bush, of Lindsay, Ont. wheelsman, saved by the yawl. John Carboy, father of Charles, with the steam pump, was rescued, but died in five minutes after getting on the tug's deck. His body was taken to Detroit. Captain J.J. Reardon, of the firm of Crosby & Dimick, did not get on the steamer but came on the tug, which arrived at noon today. The great feature of the case is the short space of time the boat sank in. All the statements of the rescue say that she just opened out and went down with one plunge. She was owned by McLenna, of Port Arthur, who paid $9,000 for her last August. She insured for $7,000 in the Big Four. -- Port Huron Report.
Dec. 13, 1883