The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Roberval (Propeller), C125972, sunk, 25 Sep 1916

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      Steamer ROBERVAL, Lumber Laden, Goes To The Bottom.
      Three reach Oswego In Gale; Others Found On Raft.
      Oswego, Sept. 26. - Three members of the crew of the steamer ROBERVAL of Ottawa reached the lifesaving station here today in a yawl boat, and announced that the steamer had foundered on Lake Ontario Monday night, about nine miles from here. Late in the afternoon four others of the crew were found floating on a raft and brought here.
      According to the story the men told, the ship encountered a violent storm and was overwhelmed by the seas. She was loaded with lumber for the Diamond Match Co. and was caught in the trough of the sea, the survivors said. This caused her deck load to shift, listing her heavily. Broadside to the seas she was pounded badly, her cabins became stove in by the impact of the waves. The steamer began to sink and then Capt. Peter Eligh ordered out a lifeboat.
      As the boat was being launched, they said, it was torn away by the storm and Chief Engineer Philip Trotier, of Hull, Que., was flung into the water. Second Engineer Oliver Sequin and Edmond Legault, second mate, were also hurled into the water, but all three managed to grasp pieces of lumber and keep afloat until they reached the lifeboat.
      Two others reported missing were seen in a yawl forty miles from here, near the Canadian shore, it was reported tonight. This would indicate that no lives were lost in the disaster.
      The ROBERVAL was 125 feet long and carried 256,000 feet of lumber. She was a steel boat, built in Toronto, and chartered by Hull & Neely of that city. She left Cape Vincent yesterday afternoon, the steamer GLEN ALLEN, a sister ship, clearing about the same time, but the ROBERVAL, being the faster boat was several miles in advance when she foundered. When the vessels lost sight of each other, about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, there was a heavy sea running with wind from the west.
      Had Thrilling Experience.
      The four rescued on the raft were Peter Eligh, captain; Delia Parent, cook; Joseph Parrisien, mate; and Marcel Semonnaiu, fireman. They declared that Henry Sequin, another fireman, and Theodore Leroy, a deck hand, who probably were saved in the yawl, were washed overboard from the ROBERVAL with a deck load of lumber.
      Capt. Eligh tonight said that he, Miss Parent, Parrisien and Semonnaiu, after being separated from the others, improvised their raft from lumber remaining on deck and then cast adrift. They did not see the ROBERVAL sink, he said, although it appears to them impossible for her to remain afloat. A search of Lake Ontario for 100 miles east and west of Oswego since the arrival of the first three members of the crew this morning, failed to show any trace of the vessel.
      Capt. Eligh tole a thrilling story of the experience of himself and the others on the raft. Many times last night, he said, all were in danger of drowning, and it was with difficulty that they kept the raft together. Their rescue was effected thirty miles northeast of here by guards of the Big Sandy life saving station.
      Capt. John O'Hagan of the steamship OCEANICA, arriving tonight, reported passing the two men in the yawl, the little craft corresponded to descriptions of the one carried by the ROBERVAL, it is said.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Wednesday, September 27, 1916

      Two members Of The Barge ROBERVAL's Crew Given Up As Lost.
      Oswego, Oct. 1. - All hope for the safety of the two missing members of the crew of the steam-barge ROBERVAL, which foundered in Lake Ontario fifteen miles from this port, was abandoned after a futile search of the lower end of the lake made by the lifesaving crew of the Big Sandy Coast Guard Station.
      Following the rescue of the four members of the ROBERVAL's crew who were found floating on a raft in Mexico Bay, the Big Sandy lifesavers set out in an effort to find some trace of the missing sailors and the ill-fated barge. The lifesavers, under the direction of Capt. S. E. Nobles, scoured the lake in their power boat for fifteen hours, and after an unsuccessful cruise returned to their station.
      Capt. Nobles reported not even a piece of lumber from the deck load of the barge was found. The failure of the lifesavers to find any trace of the wreckage has caused marine men to abandon the theory that the barge is still afloat.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      October 2, 1916

Steam screw ROBERVAL. Official Canada No. 125972. Of 344 tons gross. Built Toronto, Ont. 1907. 128 x 24 x 9. Steam barge sank near Oswego, September 26, 1916
      Preliminary List of Canadian Steamships
      Inland and coastal, 1809 to 1930

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Reason: sunk
Lives: 2
Freight: lumber
Remarks: Total loss
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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Roberval (Propeller), C125972, sunk, 25 Sep 1916