The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Britannic (Propeller), U3400., sunk by collision, 9 Aug 1895

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      Run Down In The Detroit River Yesterday By The RUSSIA -- One Man Drowned.
      Detroit, Aug. 10 - The lake steamer BRITANNIC collided with the steamer RUSSIA about 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon opposite Wyandotte in the Detroit River and sank in a few minutes in 30 feet of water. All the crew escaped with the exception of one foreman, who was known as Charley and who shipped from Cleveland. He was asleep in his bunk at the time the boats struck and had not time to escape.
      Capt. Benham of the BRITANNIC stated last night that he had sighted the RUSSIA in good season and that the proper passing signals had been given and answered for each boat to go to port. Just as the two boats were about to pass, the wheel chains on the BRITANNIC fouled, and, taking a sudden sheer, she ran directly across the bows of the RUSSIA. A collision was unavoidable, and with a fearful crash the two boats met. The BRITANNIC was struck amidships on the starboard side.
      The BRITANNIC was bound down, loaded with iron ore, while the RUSSIA was bound up light. The BRITANNIC was owned by W.J. White, the Cleveland Chewing gum manufacturer, and measured 1121 gross tons, was 219 feet long and 36 feet beam. She was built in 1888. The RUSSIA is owned by the Lackawanna Transportation Company. She had a bad hole punched in her bow, and is leaking some. She will be docked here for repairs. Vessels should take the American side of the channel while passing this spot to get the best water. The BRITANNIC is insured, but the amount is not known by Capt. Benham. She had a load of iron ore for Erie, Pa. The crew of the steamer will leave for Cleveland today.
      Buffalo Evening News
      Saturday, August 10, 1895

      . . . . .

      Propeller MONTANA Strikes The Detroit River Wreck -- Hold Full Of Water.
Amherstburg, Ont. Aug. 17. - The big propeller MONTANA, owned by the Western Transportation Company, and bound down with a cargo of flour for Buffalo, ran afoul of the sunken steamer BRITANNIC, lying in the Detroit River near Ballard's Reef, early this morning.
      The MONTANA was injured so badly she was run aground on the Island, where she lies with her hold full of water.
      It is claimed that there were no lights on the BRITANNIC wreck.
      Buffalo Sunday Morning News
      Sunday, August 18, 1895

      . . . . .
      Wrecker McMorran of Port Huron has, after three months work, raised the wooden steamer BRITANNIC, which was sunk near Ballard's reef, Detroit river, by the steamer RUSSIA The BRITANNIC is now in Detroit and will be rebuilt there during the winter. The value of the wreck has not as yet been determined.
      Marine Review
      December 5, 1895
      . . . . .

      Work on the steamer BRITANNIC sunk last season in the Detroit River, is being rapidly pushed at Marine City by M.P, Lester. She has been entirely rebuilt and has no semblance of the dilapidated old hulk that was towed up the river last spring.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      May 26, 1896

Steam screw BRITANNIC. U. S. No. 3400. Of 1,121.90 tons gross; 904.34 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1888. Home port, Cleveland, Ohio. 219.2 x 36.2 x 17.0
      Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1895

Propeller SARNOR.* Official Canadian Number 133824. Built at West Bay City, Mich., U.S.A. in 1888, rebuilt at Marine City, Mich., U.S.A in 1896. Of 1319 gross tons; 1152 tons reg. Home port, Montreal, Que. Owned by Frederick R. Johnson, of Port Colborne, Ont. 227.6 x 43.1 x 16.6 and 95 horse power.
      * Foreign name, BRITANNIC, a recovered wreck.
      List of Vessels on Registry Books of the Dominion
      of Canada on the 31st. Day of December, 1920


Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk by collision
Lives: 1
Freight: iron ore
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 42.21421 Longitude: -83.14992
William R. McNeil
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Britannic (Propeller), U3400., sunk by collision, 9 Aug 1895