The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
No. 133 (Barge), collision, 22 May 1896

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Chicago, May 22 - The schr. SUNRISE was sunk by a collision with the whaleback barge No. 133 in tow of the stmr. W.H. GRATWICK, in mid lake, about 6 miles from Chicago, early this morning. The crew of the lost schooner arrived here this morning on board the GRATWICK.
      According to the story of Capt. Buchanan, the SUNRISE was running free with a south wind, all light canvas being in, when 3 blasts of the steamer were heard from the fog. She passed the steamer all right, with nothing to indicate that she had a boat in tow. The next thing he knew, the whaleback barge had cut his boat clean off, 15 ft. back.
      The boat was immediately lowered and the 8 members of the crew succeeded in getting into it before the SUNRISE went down. Louis Brisay, the mate, was badly jammed between the yawl and the schooner. The tow-line had been parted by the collision and the sunrise crew was taken on board the whaleback. The GRATWICK did not discover that the barge had broken loose until she had gone 15 miles. She then returned, picked up her tow and took the crew of the SUNRISE aboard.
      The SUNRISE was owned by Henry Scheedle of Sheboygan and Capt. Buchanan. She was worth $8,000 and had no insurance. She was bound light to Cockburn Island.
      The crew of the whaleback say the SUNRISE struck the tow-line before coming into the barge. It is certain an attempt to hold the barge liable for the loss will be made. She is insured abroad, with collision liability covered.
      Whalebach barge No. 133 was taken to the drydock at South Chicago for an examination and repairs. Three of her plates in the port bow had been jammed in, but further than that, there was apparently no damage done.
      Detroit Tribune
      May 23, 1896

      . . . . .

      The case of Henry Scheele, Jr., as owner of the schooner SUNRISE, against the steamer WILLIAM H. GRATWICK and whaleback barge 133, in tow of the GRATWICK, for the sinking of the SUNRISE by collision with the 133 on Lake Michigan, May 21, 1896, was decided by Judge Grosscup on June 1. The GRATWICK was exonerated; the 133 was held at fault for not having an efficient bell, and the SUNRISE for not altering her course. Several interesting questions, as to the duty of a steamer with tow in fog, the location of bell, etc., were considered, but as the full text of the opinion is not at hand the determination of these questions can not be given.
      The Marine Review
      June 3, 1897

Media Type:
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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 43.68473 Longitude: -86.53036
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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No. 133 (Barge), collision, 22 May 1896