The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Rockaway (Schooner), U21475, damaged, 1 Oct 1873

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A Marine Story.
We are credibly informed by a gentleman whose veracity has never been brought in question, that an accident happened to the schooner Rockaway on her last passage up through the Welland Canal, such as never happened to any other schooner.
In passing up the level between Allanburg and Port Colborne, the Rockaway struck a sunken spile, which had been pulled out of the canal bank, with such force as to drive it through her starboard bow and thence up through the deck. The timber entered the hull of the schooner below water mark, and as she was making water freely, her cargo of ore was shifted aft, thus bringing the hole above water. Not wishing to be delayed, the captain of the vessel sawed the timber off close to the hull, both on the bow and on deck, and putting
canvas patches, covered with tar, over the breaks, proceeded on his voyage.
The vessel went to Erie, discharged, and loaded with coal for this port and is now on her way down with the spile still in her. The owners of the vessel will look to the canal authorities to pay the damages.
      Oswego Daily Palladium
      Tuesday, Oct. 7, 1873

      The piece we published relative to the schooner Rockaway having a spile driven in her hull, in passing through the Welland Canal, was looked upon by many of our exchanges as a fish story, and as such ways taken with many grains of allowance. The Rockaway arrived in this port Sunday morning and during the day and yesterday was visited by hundreds who came away fully satisfied that the Pall., like the illustrious G.W., cannot tell a lie. -
The spile which entered the hull of the Rockaway is of oak, about fifteen feet long and about ten inches in diameter. The stick entered the hull of the bow and the sharp end ran up through the deck at least four feet. The ends were sawed off and patches of canvas and tar were placed over the breaks and the vessel went on. The stick is still in her hull and may be seen by all who have the curiosity.
      Oswego Daily Palladium
      Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1873

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Reason: damaged
Remarks: Repaired
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.042777 Longitude: -79.2125
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Rockaway (Schooner), U21475, damaged, 1 Oct 1873