The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
E. J. Vickery (Canal Boat), sunk, 2 Aug 1874

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      Canal Boat With Ashes Founders and Sinks in Lake Ontario -
      Narrow Escape of the Crew.
      The tug C. P. MOREY with two canal boats, laden with ashes from the Bay of Quinte, arrived in port last night about half-past ten o¹clock, and reported that the canal boat E. J. VICKERY, with ashes, broke adrift when about eight or ten miles north by west from this port last evening about seven o¹clock. The seas which were running very heavy at the time, rendered it impossible for the tug to regain the boat without endangering the other boats, as it was thought best to run the two boats into port an return for the other. After landing the two boats safely along side the dock the MOREY steamed out for her helpless companion.
Soon after leaving the harbor the light of the boat VICKERY was sighted by those on the MOREY, but before the boat was reached the light suddenly disappeared. The whistle of the tug was sounded at intervals and a bright flash of light was exposed, but nothing could be seen or heard of the missing boat. After running on for some time with the waves dashing over the MOREY from stem to stern, she suddenly ran into smooth water, where the waves had become calmed as though oil had been poured on the angry billows.
The tug was halted and every effort was made to attract attention of the crew of the canal boat, but without avail. Captain Pappa, of the MOREY, confident that the canal boat had gone to the bottom in the vicinity, steamed slowly on for about one half mile, sounding the whistle at intervals, when during a lull, he heard cries from the water, and soon after picked up Captain Benjamin Peterson, of the VICKERY, and a boy, who were floating on hatch covers, and the steersman, who was floating on the deck of the bow stable, the whole of the crew.
Captain Peterson reported that the boat got into the troughs of the sea, filled with water and sank suddenly about fifteen minutes before the tug MOREY returned. The finding of the men was very fortunate, for with the heavy wind and waves of last night, their frail support could not have long successfully battled, and they must have drowned before morning.
The boat was owned by Capt. Peterson, worth about $1,200, and was uninsured for lake
navigation. The ashes were owned by V. H. Burch and were also uninsured. The line with which the VICKERY was attached to the tow was not considered strong or reliable.
      Oswego Daily Palladium
      Monday, August 3, 1874

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Freight: ashes
Remarks: Total loss
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.795555 Longitude: -77.905555
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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E. J. Vickery (Canal Boat), sunk, 2 Aug 1874