The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Charene Thomas (Schooner), sunk by ice, 23 Dec 1879

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Capt. "Sand" Thomas relates to us the eventful and dangerous trip that he had no his last venture from this port on December 23, 1878. It will be remembered that on that day a terrible cold storm sprang up and the weather became very tempestuous and piercingly cold. Before the gale his small schooner, CHARENE THOMAS, swept like a thing of life, at the rate of 10 knots per hour. When in sight of his destination at Sag Bay, he ran into a floating
field of ice, which soon knocked a hole through the bottom. As it was a case of life or death, the leak had to be stopped, which was done with benumbed fingers by a piece of canvas and a board nailed over it. Soon another rent appeared through which the ice cold water poured in. This was repaired as in the former case and the course was altered towards Little Summer Island. The sea was very boisterous by this time, and the heaving vessel; was soon dashing against the sharp edge of another cake of ice, making the third gaping hole. This was also partially stopped. But before the gallant captain got to the more solid ice, 5 holes in all had been cut completely through, and although covered with ice and with limbs nearly paralized from the cold he had still succeeded in keeping the craft afloat. So intense had the cold become that the ice formed rapidly around him, making their progress impossible. As soon as the congealed surface was strong enough to bear his weight, he took the mail bag which he was carrying, upon his sholders, and carried it to Sag Bay, a distance of 3 miles. The venturesome boat is still there, but the captain intends, as soon as the ice is strong enough, to try and raise it to the surface and haul it to shore for repairs. It is to be hoped that he will be fortunate enough to succeed. - Escanaba Iron Port.
      Detroit Free Press
      January 25, 1879

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Reason: sunk by ice
Lives: nil
Remarks: ?
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William R. McNeil
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Charene Thomas (Schooner), sunk by ice, 23 Dec 1879