The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Keystorm (Propeller), aground\sunk, 26 Oct 1912

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      The KEYSTORM With Cargo Of $120,000 Value.
Kingston, Oct. 26. -- The steamer KEYSTORM coal laden from Ashtabula to Montreal sank 7 miles from Alexandria Bay this morning. She struck Howe Island Reef at 4 o'clock in the morning and gradually filled, then she suddenly slid off and went down in 120 feet of water. Her crew landed while she was ashore and afterwards were taken to Brockville.
      The KEYSTORM was owned by the Keystone Transportation Company, of Montreal and with her cargo of 2,500 tons was valued at $120,000.
      It is likely tenders will be called for raising the sunken steamer.
      Toronto Telegram
      Tuesday, October 29, 1912

      The Salvage Assoc. yesterday awarded the contract for raising the stm. KEYSTORM, sunk in 70 ft. of water in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, to A.J. Lee of Montreal, representing the Compressed Air Salvage Co. The salvage company took the contract on a no-cure-no-pay basis and will be paid a percentage of the value of what it recovers. The KEYSTORM sank Oct. 26, 1912 after going ashore. Wreckers have examined the wreck but none, except the company which has the contract, would bid for the job.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      August 26, 1913 9-3

      The Compressed Air Salvage Co., which has the contract to raise the stm. KEYSTORM, sunk in the St. Lawrence River near Kingston, has started wrecking operations and expect to have the boat up in a short while. The vessel is to be floated by having air pumped into her hold to displace the water.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 14, 1913 7-3

      Vesselmen are watching with keen interest the outcome of the wrecking operations which have just started near Chippewa Pt., St. Lawrence River, where the freighter KEYSTORM has lain in more than 100 ft. of water since Oct. 26 of last year, when she foundered after stricking a rock in a fog.
      Upper lake wreckers who visited the spot last winter made soundings over the submerged ship regard the task of raising her as hopeless owing to the great depth of water. Since then Contractor A.J. Lee of Montreal has been enlisted in the work and he is on the scene with divers and wrecking outfit on board the stmb. RELIANCE. Contractor Lee is to use compressed air system in his effort to float the KEYSTORM. As this method is new in these parts the operations will be followed closely by boat owners.
      The KEYSTORM lies in one of the deepest parts of the river and if she is brought safely to the surface it will be a great feather in the cap of the contractor. It is estimated that the value of the boat and the cargo focoal that went down with her is between $250,000 and $300,000. The KEYSTORM was built 3 years before she sank and is a steel steam barge of modern type.
      Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
      October 27, 1913 9-3

NOTE:- The KEYSTORM was a buk freighter under Canadian registry but built in Wallsend, England in 1910. She is steel in structure 254 feet long and has a 43 foot beam.
      While being navigated through dense fog, she foundered on Scow Island Outer Shoal, twelve miles from Brockville, within the American boundary of the St. Lawrence. She was on her way to the Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company with 2,400 tons of coal from Charlotte, N. Y., when she hit the shoal on October 26, 1912. Her starboard bow gave way to the impact and four and a half hours later, after her crew of twenty gathered belongings and sought safety, she sank stern first into from 25 to 100 feet water.
      The collier was only 3 years old, and 2 weeks previous to her sinking she was put in charge of Captain L. Daigmauly. Mate LeBoeuf was in command at the time but had aroused Daignault to the wheel when the mishap occurred. Unfortunately there was nothing that could be done to save the KEYSTORM and she slid into the depths.
      She lies on the west side of Scow Island Outer Shoal, east of the northern end of Oak Island and just 100 feet South East of Shoal Buoy #175 N 43 degrees, 25 minutes, 48 seconds. W 75 degrees, 49 minutes, 20 seconds. (shoal buoy #175 was removed in 1974-5)

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: aground\sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
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Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 44.42506 Longitude: -75.8119
William R. McNeil
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Keystorm (Propeller), aground\sunk, 26 Oct 1912