The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Globe (Toronto, ON), Tues., Nov. 16, 1880

Full Text
Belle Sheridan's Survivor
The Fullest Account yet Given of the Loss of the Vessel and Crew.

James McSherry, sole survivor of the crew of the Belle Sheridan, was seen this morning. He is ill, his lungs being badly affected. He was scarcely able to speak, but the following facts were elicited from him regarding the wreck:

The Belle Sheridan left Charlotte, Saturday, 6th, with coal for Toronto. Opposite Thirty Mile Point she was struck by a gale from the southwest. The crew at once lowered the foresail and mainsail and headed their vessel on an east by north course. About an hour afterwards the mainboom went over the vessel's side, carrying away the boat.

At three o'clock in the morning the sea was running level with the vessel's rail and the maintopmast gave way. At daybreak the crew sighted Presque Isle bluff, but their vessel was unmanageable and they failed in an attempt to reach Presque Isle harbor. The anchor was dropped, but after holding a short time it began to drag, and the schooner went broadside upon the beach about two miles from Presque Isle harbor.

The waves dashed over her, and until one o'clock the crew held on behind the yawl-bitts and windlass. They were every few minutes deluged with the waves which swept over them. The captain, James McSherry, Sr., had now become so chilled that he had to be held by his three sons, John, Thomas and James, who themselves were so benumbed as to have scarcely any use of their limbs.

Edward McSherry and Samuel Boyd, who were holding on to each other lost the use of their arms, and James McSherry went to the assistance of his brother. Shortly afterwards, the old man died and his body was washed off the shore side of the vessel. Edward cried out several times that he could stand it no longer and died in his brother's arms.

After a boat from the shore had failed in three attempts to reach the schooner, James McSherry determined to venture on the waves. Crawling aft to the main rigging he jumped into the water, and after being swept around the vessel's bow was carried half way to the shore by a single wave. On another wave he was borne close to the shore and was picked up by the boat which had come out to the rescue. Shortly after James reached the shore the main-mast gave way and fell directly across where the remainder of the crew were holding on. After this event the survivor knows little, beyond the fact that they perished one after another.

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Tues., Nov. 16, 1880
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Richard Palmer
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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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Globe (Toronto, ON), Tues., Nov. 16, 1880