The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Crusader (Propeller), collision, 20 Nov 1872

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A COLLISION OF STEAM TUGS. - Last night bout half past six o'clock the steam tugs CRUSADER and MARIA MELVIN came in collision in the harbor between the plaster mill dock and he coal dock, on the opposite side of the river,
both sustaining damages which will prevent them from running for some little time. When the collision took place, the Melvin was going down the river and the Crusader coming up, each having the right side. The CRUSADER struck the MELVIN on the port bow, about two feet forward of the wheel house, cutting her through, nearly down to the water mark, crushing through the oak plank, fender, plank shive and frames, and receiving damage to her own bow by twisting her stem out of line. Captain hart, of the MELVIN, fearful his boat would skink, ran her down the inside
of the west pier into shoal water and forced her on the bottom, where she now lies.
      Oswego Palladium
      Wednesday, November 20, 1872
      . . . . .

      Last evening at about six o'clock, the tugs MARIA MELVIN and CRUSADER collided in the lower harbor, near the plaster mill, one running up and the other down the stream. Although the tugs were not at the time running at any unusual rate of speed, the shock was naturally quite a severe one. The crews of both boats were on deck in an instant, some of them considerably excited. We heard a rumor this morning that one man sprang overboard, and that another strongly advised the launching of the life boat but for this we do not vouch.
As soon as the collision took place the MELVIN began to take water rapidly, which put out her fires. It was found that a large hole had been knocked in her side, and that she was otherwise materially damaged. To prevent her sinking she was towed into Goble's slip and there run aground. The damage to the CRUSADER was much less, her stem only being considered jammed.
As to the precise cause of the accident there are many opinions. Some claim that one party was to blame, and some another. We are informed that neither boat carried any light and that that was the probable cause of their meeting, while again it was stated that one of the tugs missed her steering and thus they came together. With regard to all these reports we can only say that we give them to the public as they came to us. The fact of the collision and of the damage done is about all that is authenticated.
      Oswego Commercial Advertiser
      Wednesday, November 20, 1872
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Reason: collision
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
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  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.45535 Longitude: -76.5105
William R. McNeil
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Crusader (Propeller), collision, 20 Nov 1872