CREW OF THE "MAGNET" OBLIGED TO ABANDON THEIR CRAFT.
Rescued by the Steamer KIRBY.
Detroit Sept. 12. -- The steamer FRANK E. KIRBY, from Sandusky, was laboring about 9 o'clock last night in the heaviest sea that has lashed the east end of Lake Erie in a decade. For the slight protection of the near by land. Her captain hugged the shore of the islands through which his route lay. The dim outline of Middle Sister Island were fading into darkness off the steamer's quarter, when a faint flash of light was seen about a mile off the island shore. The light flashed and waved and then disappeared. A moment later the KIRBY had stooped in her course, put about and was running in the direction of the signal of distress.
A small schooner lay low in the water under the lee of the island. From her deck, Captain Fox of the KIRBY heard a hail. The steamer ran as near as safety permitted. A man's voice cried out that the vessel, the schooner MAGNET, was sinking, with three men and a woman aboard.
"Take to your yawl and I'll lie to, to pick you up," shouted the KIRBY's master, and a moment later the passengers, who crowded to the rail of the steamer saw a 14 foot yawl boat pitch out under the schooner's stern and wallow in the sea. The little boat slowly made its way towards the steamer, one moment on end and the next out of sight. As the yawl neared the steamer a heaving line was sent flying towards her. It was grasped by one of the occupants as the seas swept the little boat under the gunwales of the steamer. A life-preserver was thrown from the deck of the steamer to the point where the boat has disappeared, and a moment later it floated into view of the deck with a woman clinging to it. Sailors promptly drew the line in board and hauled the woman near the gangway. As a wave swept her up she was grasped and pulled aboard.
The three men in the yawl were less fortunate. The line to the steamer had been lost overboard. The seas rapidly swept the boat under the steamer's lea while the attention of the crew was devoted to the woman. When she was safe aboard the yawl was a mile away. Captain Fox promptly turned his boat and overtook the yawl. Another line was thrown and caught by the crew of the yawl. Three life-preservers were thrown near the boat as she pitched alongside, and one by one the three men were hauled aboard. On the KIRBY the four rescued persons were furnished with warm clothes and given stimulants.
Upon the arrival of the KIRBY in this city the three members of the crew of the abandoned MAGNET, who gave their names as Capt. George E. Bennett; Albert McKee and Leroy Fulgerson, all of Port Huron, went to the Wabash Hotel for the night. The Woman, who was Captain Bennett's wife, and acted as steward on the schooner, was given a berth on the KIRBY.
The barge MAGNET is given by the Shipmasters' directory, to be a boat of 217 tons burthen and 145 feet over all by 24 feet beam. She is owned by W. E. Rice, of Benton Harbor, Mich.
The MAGNET left Sandusky with 500 tons of coal, consigned to the salt Works, at Marine City, about 5 o'clock yesterday morning, as there was a fair wind her captain determined to sail her across the lake. About 11 o'clock the sea became so heavy as to worry Captain Bennett. He sailed near Middle Sister Island and dropped anchor. About noon the strain of the seas sprung a leak in her and the men were set at the pumps. When she was abandoned in the evening there was five feet of water in her.
September 13, 900
The barge MAGNET, owned by E. Rice of Harbor Beach, with 500 tons of coal consigned to the salt works at Marine City, went down in the storm neat Middle Sister Island in Lake Erie. The crew were rescued by the FRANK E. HIRBY.
port Huron Daily Times
Thursday, september 13, 1900
Schooner MAGNET. U. S. No. 16318 Of 217 tons gross; 206 tons net. Built Buffalo, N.Y., 1864. Home port, Port Huron, Mich. 145.0 x 24.3 x 10.0
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1900