The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Comet (Steamboat), boiler explosion, sunk, 21 Apr 1851

Full Text

      Serious Loss Of Life!!
      The new and splendid Canadian steamer Comet, Capt.. A. O¹Conner, came in yesterday morning from Hamilton, and after discharging 1,200 barrels of flour at the Custom House dock, she took a clearance for Kingston, and at about 3 o¹clock P.M., after a few revolutions of her engines, while swinging round in the river, her larboard boiler burst, making a complete wreck of the forward part of the boat. Nearly the entire upper works, forward of the wheel houses, were blown off, and she immediately filled, and sunk to her guards, in about 9 feet of water, at the dock.
James Carroll, the 2d Engineer, was killed instantly. C. Hennesy, Carpenter, and John D. Wire, deck hand, are missing; they were doubtless blown into the river and lost. Royal Davis, 1st Engineer, is badly scalded and bruised. John O'Conner, waiter, is badly scalded, and is supposed cannot survive. A boy by the name of James Church, waiter, is also badly scalded, and cannot survive. Three others, Daniel McGuire, Thomas Regans, and James Eriel, are more or less injured, the two former seriously. Capt. O'Conner was upon the upper deck, working the boat out, at the time of the explosion, and received some slight injury.
The body of the 2d Engineer was taken to the Market building, upon which we understand a Coroner¹s inquest was to be held. The wounded were taken to the Frontier House, where they are well cared for.
To what caused the disaster is to be ascribed, we are unable to say. As in all similar cases, there is a variety of opinions, but it is generally believed that the boiler must have been defective. We regard the disaster as the first that ever happened in our harbor, and one that never happened to an American boat on Lake Ontario.
P.S. John O'Conner, one of the waiters, died last evening. It so happened that there were no passengers on board at the time of the accident.
      Oswego Daily Times
      Tuesday, April 22, 1851

      . . . . .

      The Steamer Comet Raised. - The Comet was raised yesterday, under the direction and management of Geo. S. Weeks, Esq., and will be floated to the marine railway on the lower harbor. The body of one of the victims of this unfortunate steamer is still missing, which was supposed might be in the boat, but was not found there.
      Oswego Daily Times
      Thursday, May 22, 1851
      . . . . .
      Parties at Oswego recently succeeded in recovering the safe of the ill-fated stm. COMET, which was blown up at Oswego some 12 or 15 years ago, and so shattered that she sunk. Quite a number of lives were lost by the disaster. She was afterwards raised and towed to Canada for repairs, but on her first trip sprung a leak and sunk in deep water off Oswego harbor. The safe contained nothing of value.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      October 9, 1868 3-4

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: boiler explosion, sunk
Lives: 3 ?
Remarks: Raised
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Comet (Steamboat), boiler explosion, sunk, 21 Apr 1851