The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
James Reid (Tug), sunk, 26 Aug 1917

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      Big Craft Founders, But Crew Of Six Saved, Says Messages.
Port Huron, Mich., Aug. 27. -- The tug JAMES REID, owned by the reid Towing & Wrecking Company of Sarnia, foundered on georgian Bay near the Byng Inlet some time last night, according to private advices received here this evening, the crew of six have been saved. No details of the sinking have been given. The tug was picking up logs for the Sarnia mills.
      The REID was one of the largest and most powerful tugs on the Great Lakes and was valued at between $75,000 and $100,000.
      Toronto Globe
      August 28, 1917

      Survivors Tell Thrilling Tale of Foundering of Tug and Escape to Small Island
All the members of the crew of the tug James Reid, which went to the bottom of the Georgian Bay, in the heavy storm last week, escaped by taking a life boat and after a perilous trip in a rough sea, landed on a small island. They were picked up by the tug Sarnia City and were taken to Sarnia, where they arrived Saturday. Members of the crew of the tug Reid tell a thrilling story of their experience:-
"A heavy sea was running, one of the worst I ever saw on Georgian Bay,: said one. "The tug appeared to be all right until about two miles off the gas buoy, at Byng Inlet. Without a second's warning she began to sink at the stem. The engineer and firemen shouted that the boat was foundering. We launched one life-boat but it was crushed against the sides. We launched the second boat in a few seconds, and thirteen of us, every man aboard jumped in. We came near
capsizing several times in the heavy sea but managed to reach a small island.
"The tug went down stem first, and lies in eighteen fathoms of water. On Saturday we displayed distress signals, and they were seen by a resort keeper at Byng Inlet, who sent two men in a naphtha launch to investigate. Through glasses they counted thirteen of us, but thought we were campers, in landing the naphtha launch was swamped, but we managed to get both men ashore and righted the boat. It would not hold all of us, and they went back to Byng Inlet for a
larger boat. They took us off the island on Sunday afternoon. Members of the crew believe the bulkhead ofa large tank in the stem of the Reid, used to carry water ballast, gave way. Water flooded the engine room and heavy seas sealed the fate of the tug.
"Yes, we had thirteen members in our crew," said one of the crew. "That's enough to account for the action."
      Owen Sound Sun
      September 4,1917
extract courtesy of Bill Hester

      Tug James Reid Foundered off Bying Inlet
During the western gale which blew on Sunday, Aug. 27h, the powerful towing tug, Jas. Reid foundered and sank in deep water in the Georgian Bay off Byng Inlet. Very little information is yet to hand concerning the loss of the tug, which is owned by the Reid Wrecking Co. of Sarnia. It is understood that all the crew have been saved. The tug Jas. Reid was one of the largest and most powerful tugs on the Great Lakes, and was valued at between $75,000 and $100,000. The tug was picking up logs for the Sarnia mills. The tug was named after the late Capt. Jas Reid, founder of the Reid Wrecking Co. Owing to the great depth of water, it is thought it is impossible to raise the boat.
      CollingWood Entemrise
      September, 6 1917
extract courtesy of Bill Hester

NOTE:-- The remains of the JAMES REID lies about midway between the Magnetawan Ledges and Morden Rock, N 45 degrees 42' 39" and W 80 degrees 43' 36", chart 2258.
Built 1875 at Wilmington, Delaware as the PROTECTOR. 117 x 23 x 12, Can Reg, No. 116399

Propeller JAMES REID. * Official Canadian No. 116398. Of 181 tons Gross; 123 tons Reg. Built at Wilmington, Del. in 1875. Home port, Sarnia, Ont. Owned by the Reid Wrecking Co,., of Sarnia, Ont. 117.0 x 23.0 x 12.0
      * formerly propeller PROTECTOR.
      Name Changes from Registry Books of the Dominion of Canada,
      on December 31, 1913. Sessional Papers Vol. XLV11 No. 16
Steam screw PROTECTOR. U.S. No. 150050. Of 276.86 tons gross; 143.78 tons net. Built at Wilmington, Del., in 1875. Home port, Detroit, Mich. 117.6 x 23.0 x 9.7
      Merchant Vessel List, U.S., 1896

Media Type:
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Reason: sunk
Lives: nil
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.770555 Longitude: -80.546111
William R. McNeil
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James Reid (Tug), sunk, 26 Aug 1917