The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Neptune (Propeller), struck pier, 31 Oct 1870

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      Loss of the tug HARRISON, Wreck of the Propeller NEPTUNE
      and the Schooner MARY RANKIN. - Six Lives Lost.
      The storm which began Sunday night and continued through the greater part of Monday, is said to have been the most terrible that ever visited the waters of Lake Erie.
      Propeller NEPTUNE.
      The propeller NEPTUNE while endeavoring to enter Cleveland harbor, struck upon the west pier, and the stern swung round against the east pier with terrible force, the wind and waves throwing her back on the pier every time that she receded, until the seams in her hull opened, and she commenced sinking rapidly. Two tugs were despatched to her and commenced towing her up-river, they succeeded in getting her above the first bridge, when one of the tugs became unmanageable, and the propeller floated down the harbor, until stopped by the bridge where she remained, striking against the piles. She sunk at daylight yesterday. She was owned by the Erie Transportation Company.
      Schooner MARY RANKIN.
      The schooner MARY RANKIN was discovered Monday morning upon a reef about a mile above Port Colborne. The news of her danger having reached Capt. Dorr, he despatched a life-boat in which three vain efforts were made to reach the schooner, the first time the boat was swamped, and three brave men, Edward Simpson, John Mills and A. McGregor, lost their lives in their endeavors to rescue their fellow seamen. At last Capt. Noble of the HIPPOGRIFF, jumped into a clumsy yawl, and called upon the crowd upon the beach to come to the rescue, but there was no response and the noble captain despatched a horseman to the crew of his own vessel. Four men soon appeared and entered the boat without hesitation with their daring leader, and struck out for the wreck. The reached the schooner in safety, and took aboard the half-dead crew of the RANKIN with the exception of the cook, who was washed overboard the night previous.
      Tug HARRISON.
      The tug HARRISON while endeavoring to get off the schooner DAVID A. WELLS, which was ashore at Silver Creek, caught her line in the wheel which totally disabled her. She was taken in hand by the tug COMPOUND, but leaked so badly that she sank off Sturgeon Point. Her crew were taken on board the COMPOUND.
      A number of vessels suffered minor accidents; also four vessels are reported ashore at Erie and two at Dunkirk.
      The U. S. Revenue cutter COMMODORE PERRY anchored inside of the breakwater last night, and reports having rescued the master and four of the crew of the schooner LEVIA. A boat belonging to the PERRY while going to the rescue was upset among the breakers and two men lost.
      Buffalo Post
      Tuesday, November 1, 1870

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Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: struck pier
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ohio, United States
    Latitude: 41.4995 Longitude: -81.69541
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Neptune (Propeller), struck pier, 31 Oct 1870