The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sandusky Register (Sandusky, OH), Wednesday, August 9, 1911

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Captain and Crew of Steam Barge F. H. Prince Have Close Call Off East Shore of Kelley?s Island ? Sandusky Sandsuckers to Rescue

The steamer F.H. Prince of Detroit, Capt. Parsons in command and bound for Cleveland with a cargo of gravel was threatened with total destruction by fire and sixteen lives were jeopardized in Lake Erie about half a mile off the East shore of Kelley?s Island, I Lake Erie shortly before noon Tuesday. How the fire started no one knows. The Prince was proceeding on her way when all of a sudden the upper part of her bow was found to be in flames that at times shot as high as thirty feet and forced islanders assembled on the shore to the conclusion that the boat was doomed.

The sandsuckers Mary H. Clinton, Protection and Albert Y. Gowan all of this port happened to be at work in the Lake off Cedar Point, and their captains and crew realizing the danger the burning craft faced, went to her assistance. They arrived none too soon. By pouring four streams of water upon the Prince they succeeded in saving her but not until after her pilot house and superstructure in the rear as far back as the No. 2 hatch, had been destroyed. When the flames were discovered the Captain of the Prince ordered the boat backed into a gale that was blowing from the northwest. This had the effect of carrying the flames over the bow and away from the stern and did more than anything else toward saving the boat from total destruction. Captain and crew remained aboard the threatened steamer until the fire was put out.

Although the life savers from the Marblehead station were summoned to the Prince, their services were not needed as the sandsuckers and a dozen smaller boats from Kelley?s Island were ready to rescue captain and crew at a moments notice.

The Prince is a wooden vessel, is 240 feet long, is of 2047 tons gross and 1, 547 tons net. She was built in Detroit in 1890 and was originally owned by Ogdensport, N. Y. parties, although she is now owned by the Great Lakes Freighting Co.

The Prince was originally a package freighter but her upper deck works were nearly all removed for the trade she has recently been engaged in.

Late Tuesday afternoon word came from Kelley?s Island that the Prince had been beached and that the flames were still raging in her hull. It was apparent then that there was a great danger of the total destruction of the boat, but at last reports Tuesday night it was believed that she could be recommissioned after receiving an overhauling.

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Wednesday, August 9, 1911
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Linda Pansing
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Sandusky Register (Sandusky, OH), Wednesday, August 9, 1911