The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Lake Ontario (Propeller), leak, 5 Jun 1878

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The Hamilton [Ont.] Times of June 6 contained the following:
      Yesterday afternoon about 3 o'clock as the propeller LAKE ONTARIO, Capt. Williams, owned by A. Hope & Co., of this city, was loading old railway iron at the Great Western Railroad wharf, for Messrs. Peck, Penny & Co., Montreal, an accident happened to her which would have caused her to sink had it not been for her commander's prompt actions. A thirty foot bar, weighing over 600 pounds, was being hoisted by the donkey engine in her hold, when the nippers gave way and the bar descended through the forward hatch, a distance of eighteen feet, and bored a hole clean through the vessel's ceiling and bottom and brought up in the mud. The water at once rushed in and in a short time there was several inches of water all over her ceiling. The question at once arose as how to stop the leak and save the boat from sinking. One of the owners, Mr. Hope, was sent for at once, and a crowd of railway employees rushed to the scene of the accident. Capt. Williams, however, was equal to the occasion ' Roust out the jib," was his first order. The sail was brought out in quick time. He then ordered the boat to be lowered. Meantime the bar, having been pulled out, the water gained rapidly, through the leak, which was eight inches wide by about two feet long. The sail was now lowered under the bows of the propeller and pulled aft to the leak, the water of course pressed the canvas into the aperture and stopped it to some extent. At this time there was three feet of water over the ceiling or floor of the vessel and the men were wading about it in waist deep. The next thing this energetic captain did was to have the ceiling chopped away all around the leak. Bedquilts and blankets were then brought and shored down into and around the end of the jib.
      Then, as the spectators at the wharf expected to see the ship go down, they cut loose her moorings and getting up steam, ran down to Port Dalhousie for repairs. She went on the dry-dock there at 8 o'clock last evening and was back here this morning at 7 o'clock ready for work. [part]
      Detroit Free Press
      June 8, 1878

Media Type:
Item Type:
Reason: leak
Lives: nil
Remarks: Repaired
Date of Original:
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.25011 Longitude: -79.84963
William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Lake Ontario (Propeller), leak, 5 Jun 1878