The crew of the propeller NEW YORK arrived at this port midnight Saturday on the little Canadian schooner NEMESIS which had picked them up from an open boat on Lake Huron in one of the heaviest seas of the season. The NEW YORK left Cove island, Georgian Bay, on Friday last, bound from Buffalo with a cargo of lumber. She had the schooners BUTCHER BOY and barges NELLIE McGILVRA, and R.J. CARNEY in tow. When in the vicinity of Point aux Barques the towline of the schooner BUTCHER BOY which was ahead parted. The propeller was unable to pick the tow up again and sprung a leak. She was headed for land, but the water gained fast, and when about 12 miles from land put out her fires. The yawl boat was launched and 16 persons (one woman) were put aboard. Twenty minutes after casting adrift from the propeller, the latter gave a sudden lurch and went all to pieces. The men were in imminent danger of drowning when the schooner NEMESIS hove in sight. The gallant little schooner was wore around 12 times, each time a portion of her deckload of tanbark was carried overboard. At the 12th attempt the boat was got alongside and the crew managed to get on board with the exception of William Sparks, fireman. He fell between the boat and the vessel and was not seen again. The open boat was in the water 5 hours before the rescue. The other vessels made the run to Port Huron safely.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, October 16, 1876
SINKING OF THE STEAM-BARGE NEW YORK.
( Special telegram to the Inter Ocean.)
Port Huron, Mich., Oct. 15.-- The steam barge NEW YORK left Cove Island, Georgian Bay, Friday, with the schooner BUTCHER BOY and the barges NELLIE McGILVRA and R.J. CARNEY in tow. Land was sighted at Point au Barques yesterday forenoon. The sea was running mountains high, when the BUTCHER BOY,s tow line parted and separated her from the steam barge. Shortly after the NEW YORK commenced leaking, and every effort was made to get her into shoal water. Meanwhile the water was gaining fast and drowned out the fires. The propeller was then at the mercy of the waves, twelve miles from land, between Port Hope and Sand Beach. A signal of distress was hoisted, which was not seen by the propeller and two large schooners which passed her at 11:30. The crew, sixteen in number, including one woman, embarked in the yawlboat. Captain Michael Galvin being the last to get into the boat. In twenty minutes afterwards the propeller went down. For five hours and a half they were at the mercy of the sea, which, from all appearances, was the heaviest of the season. The boat was drifting helplessly into the lake, the wind being North, Northwest, and the weather cold, with frequent squalls and snow. Waves dashed over the open boat, which had a foot of water in her all the time. The crew were benumbed, and could not have survived another five hours, when the little schooner NEMESIS hove in sight. She was commanded by Captain Spence, of Southampton, who, with three others comprised her heroic crew.
The NEMESIS was wore around twelve times at imminent peril to herself, and succeeded in taking the crew of the NEW YORK on board, with the exception of William Sparks, fireman, of Buffalo, who in climbing aboard, fell between the boat and vessel, and was drowned. The NEMESIS' crew, in their noble effort, are entitled to credit for one of the bravest actions on record. The little vessel lost nearly her entire deck load of tan-bark while wearing around. Every comfort that their limited accommodations afforded were placed at the disposal of the shipwrecked crew, who arrived here at midnight last night. The schooner BUTCHER BOY, with the barges McGILVRA and CARNEY in tow, both of which were waterlogged, arrived here about the same time. The barges have been pumped out, and will be towed to Buffalo. Captain Galvin deserves special commendation for saving the lives of the crew in the yawlboat by careful management.
The J. W. Hall Great Lakes Marine Scrapbook, Fall 1876
Steam screw NEW YORK. U. S. No. 18119. Of 833.38 tons. Home port, Dunkirk, N.Y.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1871
TROUBLE OVER INSURANCE: -- Judging from the present aspect of affairs it seems quite possible that the owners of the steam barge NEW YORK, which foundered on Lake Huron the night of the 14th of this month, will find that they have the total loss of the barge to stand. It seems that a fair insurance has been kept on her. To meet the premiums, it is reported that notes payable at different times were made by the Buffalo parties, who failed to meet them or have them extended when they became due, and thus, in fact, the premiums were never paid. The matter will probably go before the courts for a decision. - - Detroit Ftee Press
October 31, 1876