The Tug Crusader
Particulars of the Burning as Given by Capt. Manwarring.
Capt. Manwarring writes from Duncan City to Capt. C.W. Ferris the following particulars of the burning of the tug Crusader, formerly of this port:
Capt. Manwarring says he had just towed up a lighter for provisions for a camp and had just hove up anchor to start back, having been lying about seven miles off Cheboygan. He was standing by the pilot house and discovered fire issuing from the windows just under the pilot house. He went back and told the engineer to put the hose on the pony engine, but they were where they couldn't be coupled on.
He then returned to the pilot house and tried to start ahead, intending to run her on the beach, but the fire drove him away, burning one hand considerably. He gave the engineer orders to back her, thinking to beach her in that way, being about two miles from the shore, with the wind off the land and quite a sea running. The engine was started, but without the desired effect.
They were driven off, this being about five minutes after the fire was discovered. Fortunately they had a clinker built boat aboard, into which the crew of three men got, and they then found themselves in as much danger as they had been from the fire. Capt. Manwarring and one of the men pulled off their coats and bailed all the while to keep the little craft afloat, and that was only accomplished by putting her before the wind and striking land south seven miles distant. The tug came ashore near Graham shoals. Her hull is all gone except the bottom. her boiler broke the connections and rolled out on the starboard side and inshore. The captain says a tug was lying at Duncan City, and people down on the shore saw the Crusader burning, but no one offered the least assistance.