United Empire (Propeller), C80776, collision, 3 Jul 1897
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Port Huron, July 4 - Because the gas buoy at the head of the middle ground opposite the city was out last night, the schrs. ALGERIA and ATHENS, bound down in tow of the stmr. RAPPAHANNOCK went aground at this spot. The RAPPAHANNOCK with tugs BOYNTON, MARTIN and THOMPSON at once attempted to pull the barges into deep water, but were unsuccessful as they were working into the channel. The stmr. VALE also bound down, in attempting to pass them, got in close to the dock at Sarnia and collided with the Canadian stmr. UNITED EMPIRE, doing much damage to her bow. The UNITED EMPIRE was leaking badly and went into drydock at once. The stem was knocked off and a number of frames and planks were broken. Repairs will be extensive. The YALE was able to proceed on her voyage.
The two schooners, the grounding of which brought on all this trouble are fast on the sand. The ALGERIA is out 18 inches forward and 12 inches aft. The ATHENS which was the last in the tow, is not hit so hard, but she is also on for her entire length, being out 6 inches forward and 2 inches aft. They must be lightered.
The shoal at the middle-ground was originally lighted by Lynn's lightship. which was removed to make a place for a gas buoy. The current at this point is so swift that the buoy is not lighted much of the time. Commander Folger has admitted the failure of the buoy and the lightship will be replaced at once.
Buffao Morning Express
July 5, 1897 3-1
Steam screw UNITED EMPIRE. Official Canada No. 80776. Of 1961 gross tons; 1296 tons reg. Built at Sarnia, Ont., in 1882. Home port, Sarnia, Ont. 258.8 x 36.0 x 15.0
List of Vessels on the Registry Books of the
Dominion of Canada, on Dec. 31, 1886
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- Reason: collision
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- William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes