The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Racine (Propeller), gale damage, 31 Oct 1848

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Goderich, Nov. 8, 1848
Mr. Editor
SIR - The following details will inform your readers of the melancholy loss of the schooner rigged boat WING AND WING of this port, together with crew, consisting of John Bedford, owner, Thomas Miles, John Reynolds, and Francis Longe, on Chiefs Point, about three miles below Whitefish Island, being one of the Chantry Islands, situated on Lake Huron. About ten o'clock on Monday evening, October 30th, the wind which had been blowing from the southeast suddenly chopped around southwest and blew a perfect hurricance on Tuesday morning. Just before sunrise the captain of the schooner DRAGON observed, as he thought, a vessel run ashore but which proved to be the above boat, but having no boat and it blowing too hard to make any of the other vessels hear by hailing, the sea was at the time running tremendous and breaking on the reef mast high. How she lived out the night was a miracle. From the anpearance of the boat when found she apparently up ended right over, her bowsprit being drove clean in and her mastheads looking as if they had been pounded with a sledgehammer. The boat finally bent over the reef and drifted ashore on the bar. On Wednesday I sent my boat ashore after learning the above particulars, which could not return until the next day on account of the weather. A thorough search has since been made for their bodies but up to Sunday evening last without success. On the same day [of] I the above wreck the propeller RACINE, from Chicago bound to Kingston with a load of beef, tallow, and hides had drifted over this shore having lost her canvas and boat, and got out of wood. She must have driven ashore and probably all hands have perished if she had not opportunly discovered the vessels then lying in Whitefish harbour, which was loaded there with fish, when she fortunately ran in with safety. Immediately after her another large vessel, which proved to be the GEORGE DAVIES of Buffalo with near 10,000 bushels of wheat on board, hove in sight round the point, and likewise discovered the vessels, the captain of which had given up all hopes of saving either the vessel or their lives having lost most of his canvas but which got in the harbour safe. If there was a chart of the Canada coast with the courses from the particular principal points from the opposite shore laid down many lives and much valuable property might be saved.
      Goderich Huron Signal
      Friday. November 17. 1848

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Item Type:
Reason: gale damage
Lives: nil
Freight: beef, hides, &c.
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.771666 Longitude: -81.313611
William R. McNeil
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Racine (Propeller), gale damage, 31 Oct 1848