The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., Oct. 25, 1879

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The Loss Of The Rooney
How the Cook Came to be Drowned - The Charlotte Life Crew Blamed - The Vessel to be Raised.

The Rochester papers contain a few particulars of the loss of the H. Rooney off Charlotte, yesterday morning, not given in our special despatch yesterday. The Rooney left Kingston at 4 P.M., Thursday. As state yesterday she sprang a leak at midnight and the crew were kept at the pumps and till 5 A.M., when Charlotte was sighted. The captain then hoisted a signal for a tug, upside down, intending that the life saving crew would consider it a signal of distress; but they did not, the schooner being too far away to distinguish whether the flat was right side up or not.

The mistake of the captain was in not raising his flag at half-mast, which is the usual distress signal. The captain waited some time, but no one coming out he attempted to beach her, but she sank before it could be accomplished.

The crew claim that they awoke the cook about half an hour before the catastrophe, but she refused to take care of herself, and they had no idea the vessel would go down so suddenly as she did and di not have time to awaken her again when she did go.

The life saving crew saw the distress the vessel was laboring under and at the firing of the gun assembled in less than ten minutes. a little more delay was occasioned by the tug Barrons, which towed the life boat out, but the sinking vessel was reached, and the captain and crew taken off and brought to shore. Mrs. Fisk, the cook, was a widow.

The Express says that the captain of the Rooney is very bitter in his denunciations of the life saving crew, but the explanation given above is sufficient to clear their skirts from all blame. There is some indignation felt because the woman, Mrs. Fisk was not saved, it being said that she should have been put into the boat first of all.

There was evidently some carelessness on the part of someone. Efforts will be made to raise the vessel, which likes in about fifty feet of water opposite the mouth of Irondequoit, five miles down. Her spars can be plainly seen above the waves. The crew left so suddenly that they were not able to get any of their goods, and the captain left $140 in his vest pocket.

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Sat., Oct. 25, 1879
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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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Oswego Palladium (Oswego, NY), Sat., Oct. 25, 1879