The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Joseph Herald-Press (St. Joseph, MI), Friday, 21 September 1923

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The American Girl, bound for Milwaukee, was beaten back by the heavy storm of last night to the west side of the lake and found safety this afternoon by entering the harbor at Muskegon.

The Golden Girl, bound for Chicago with fruit to unload at the Municipal pier, finally made port at Chicago seven hours overdue.

The Forrelle, which left here Wednesday evening with fruit for Milwaukee, still is missing.

Waters of the southern half of Lake Michigan are being combed this afternoon by coast guard crews for three missing small lake boats carrying cargoes of grapes from St. Joseph, and which, it is feared, may have been swamped by heavy waves and sunk with all on board. Twelve, and possibly 13, men are missing with the boats. One left port Wednesday night, one yesterday afternoon, and one last evening.

The three missing craft, gasoline-propelled, and carrying only small crews, are:

Forelle, 60-foot, all-steel tug with a crew of five, which left here Wednesday night at 7:20 for Milwaukee, due 6 a.m. yesterday.

Golden Girl, good sized yacht, which left here last night at 10 o'clock for the Municipal pier, Chicago; due 3 a.m. today.

American Girl, good sized yacht, which left here at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon for Milwaukee; due 5 a.m. today.

The greatest apprehension concerning the Forrelle is felt. With its crew of captain and four men, this boat is known to have reached mid-lake on its voyage without mishap. It was sighted Wednesday night by Captain Harry Searfoss, who himself now is missing with the American Girl. When the Forrelle was reported missing in a message yesterday from Milwaukee, Captain Searfoss reported he had sighted the boat in midlake. The Forrelle also was sighted about 20 miles out earlier in the night by the Idler and the Helen B. both small fruit carrying boats plying between this port and Milwaukee and Chicago. Both these boats left port last night, but were reported safe in harbor this morning.

Crew from Milwaukee

The Forrelle was owned by Tamms brothers of Milwaukee and had been carrying fruit out of this port about a month. On her last voyage she carried 5,800 packages of grapes, of which 3,200 were fifth size and 2,500 jumbo baskets. She was under command of Captain Claudelius Tamms. The other members of the crew were Julius Meyer, William Laham, Carl Rosenstock, Walter Rosenstock, all of Milwaukee.

The Forrelle is a comparatively new boat and is rated as one of the best small craft sailing the "inland seas." She was equipped with a gasoline motor of 125 horsepower.

Coast guards began the search for the Forelle yesterday afternoon. The boat was loaded with grapes shipped by B. C. Bury, fruit broker of Benton Harbor, and left from the Robinson dock on the Benton Harbor canal.

Captain Carlson Leads Hunt

Captain Sam J. Carlson of the coast guard station here followed the Forrell [sic] for some distance into the lake Wednesday night as the boat left port on lake surface of glassy smoothness. [sic] Captain Carlson was disturbed by a peculiar light on the rear of the boat. Following with a power boat he discovered some one walking on the Forrelle with a light and returned to harbor, feeling that all was well. Today he is leading the hunt for the missing boat.

Guards Out Again

Captain Carlson with a crew of three men from the coast guard station here, Michael J. Muszynski, F. C. Linsenmeyer and Fred Hosbein, started out yesterday afternoon and continued the search with a power boat all night. They returned this morning at 6 o'clock for dry clothing and again went to the task at 10 o'clock.

A crew from the Milwaukee station also took up the search last night, returning to port at 1 o'clock this morning. Both crews set out again at the same hour with plans to meet in midlake, separate and continue the hunt in the waters along the southwest shore of the lake. Also a government tug from Chicago and the coast guard from Michigan City were ordered out it became known here this morning.

These government craft will be constantly on the watch for all of the three missing boats.

The Forrelle found easy sailing nearly half way across the lake but ran into a spanking breeze toward midnight which increased in velocity until a troublesome sea was churned up. Captain Searfoss stated yesterday that the Forrelle was laboring, but apparently in no trouble, when he passed her in mid-lake Wednesday night. He said a heavy sea was running at that time which had been kicked up by a gale from the northeast.

For this reason search will be confined in the southwest waters of Lake Michigan. Hope has not yet been abandoned for the Forrelle. It is believed that engine trouble may have developed and that the boat is drifting. The direction of the wind would have carried her in such case into the waters along the southwest shore, probably in the vicinity of Chicago.

Captain Tamms' family was undisturbed yesterday afternoon when the boat was reported long overdue. Mr. Bury talked with members of the family yesterday by long distance telephone to Milwaukee.

Again this morning in conversation with Mr. Bury by long distance Capt. Tamms' wife refused to entertain fear for the safety of the crew. "They are all right and will come to port in time, I am certain," she calmly asserted.

Media Type:
Item Type:
The 24 September 1923 edition of the Herald-Press reported that searchers had found an oil slick, grape baskets and basket covers, and and running lights from the Forrelle about three miles from Milwaukee.
Date of Original:
Friday, 21 September 1923
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Robert C. Myers
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Joseph Herald-Press (St. Joseph, MI), Friday, 21 September 1923