The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Aloha (Schooner), C134264, sunk, 28 Oct 1917

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      ALOHA Founders In Gale Off Nine-Mile Point, Near Kingston
      (Special despatch to the Globe)
      Kingston, Oct. 28: -- The coal barge ALOHA of Midland Ont., and owned by Milnes & Kerr, coal dealers, Toronto , foundered during a storm about 6:30 o'clock this morning opposite Nine Mile Point, West of Kingston, sinking in twenty-five feet of water. Daniel McVicar of Deseronto, Captain of the barge, was drowned. The four other members of the crew were saved. Viz. John Vale of Kingston, mate; Frederick Hunt of Wiarton Ont., wheelsman; Clarence Mills of Kingston, deckhand and C.H. Ellis of Belleville, cook; Clarence Mills was rescued by a Government steamer after clinging to the crosstrees for six hours.
The ALOHA was being towed from Erie, Penn., to Kingston by the tug C.W. CHAMBERLAIN of Toronto with 925 tons of coal for the Canadian Locomotive Works. The tow left Port Dalhousie Saturday morning and ran into the storm about midnighto The wind blew from the southwest like a hurricane and was one of the worst gales on the Lakes for years. The ALOHA sprang a leak, and the life-boat was swept away. It was impossible to keep the vessel clear of water, as the waves washed right over the decks.
Just after daybreak the barge foundered, and the crew, with their life-preservers, found themselves in the angry lake. Mills climbed one of the masts and Ellis, Hunt and Vale clung to floatiag debris. The tug CHAMBERLAIN put about and reached the scene in time to throw ropes to Captain McVicar and three other men struggling in the water. Ellis and Vail caught two ropes and were drawn aboard the tug, but Captain McVicar missed the ropes twice thrown to him and sank. Hunt after a struggle, got on the floating cabin and later was picked up by a launch near shore. As the tug could not get near Mills, who was on the rigging of the sunken barge, it proceeded to Kingston, leaving him there. The tug HALL was sent out affter him, but it could not weather the terrific storm. The Government steamer GRENVILLE happened to be in port here and it went out and rescued him. Mills was nearly exhausted when taken from the mast.
The ALOHA had recently undergone an overhauling in the Buffalo dry-dock, and was in good condition. Some of the crew were on vessels in the terrific gale on the upper lakes four years ago, and say it was just as bad as that one , when many boats were lost.
      Captain McVicar was seventy years of age. His wife and two daughters survive, Mrs.John Hart, Deseronto and Mrs. A. Spencer, of Kingston.
The body of Captain Daniel McVicar of Deseronto, who lost his life on the barge ALOHA, was washed ashore at Simcoe Island and recovered. The body was brought to S.S. Corbett's Undertaking parlors in Kingston tonight, and tomorrow will be sent to his late home in Deseronto.
      Toronto GLOBE
      Monday October 29, I9I7

      Kingston Oct. 29. -- Dr. D.E. Mundeit, Coroner, who viewed the body of Captain Daniel McVicar of Deseronto, who was drowned on Sunday morning when the coal barge ALOHA foundered off Nine Mile Point, declared that the Dominion Government should take steps at once to establish a life-saving station at the head of Simcoe Island.
This region is now called the "The graveyard of Lake Ontario " by sailors. Three wrecks have occurred there this season with the loss of several lives
      Toronto GLOBE
      Tuesday Oct. 30, I9I7
      Caught in a terrible storm on Monday, October 29th, I9I7, one man lost his life and four other members of the crew had a thrilling time before being rescued, when the barge ALOHA, Of Midland, Ont., loaded with 925 tons of coal, on her way from Erie Pa. to the Canadian Locomotive Works, Kingston, and being towed by the steamer C.W. CHAMBERLAIN, of Toronto, foundered abreast of Nine Mile Point, and nine miles from the port of Kingston.
The wrecked vessel a two masted barge, was owned by P. Miles & Kerr, coal dealers, Toronto.
The captain of the ALOHA, Daniel McVicar, 76, of Deseronto, met death and his body drifted ashore on Simcoe Island.
The members of the crew who were saved were: John Vale, mate, of Kingston: Fred Hunt, wheelsman, of Wiarton Ont., Clarence Mills, deckhand, of Portsmouth Ont., and C.H. Ellis of Belleville the cook.
      The four men had a close call for their lives, Mills had the most thrilling experience, as for six hours he clung to one of the masts, which he climbed when the barge went over on her side, and there he clung for all this time, suffering terribly from the cold, until rescued by Captain Eaford of the Government Lighthouse tender, GRENVILLE, which went from Kingston to his succor.
Vale and Ellis were rescued by Captain William Stalker and crew of the steamer CHAMBERLAIN, as they were struggling in the water, holding on to some of the wreckage. Hunt got on to the top of the cabin when the climax came, and drifted towards Simcoe Island, and was picked up by a gasoline launch near the shore.
The crew of the CHAMBERLAIN made a gallant attempt to save Captain McVicar. The latter had on a lifebelt, but did not manage to get hold of any of the wreckage. He was thrown a line, but the wind was so strong it did not get within his reach. Still another was thrown to him, but this too, he failed to get, and he was carried away and perished. The men on the CHAMBERLAIN did everything possible to reach him, but their efforts were fruitless.
      by Willis Metcalfe

Media Type:
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Reason: sunk
Lives: 1
Freight: coal
Remarks: Total loss
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Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.151388 Longitude: -76.555277
William R. McNeil
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Aloha (Schooner), C134264, sunk, 28 Oct 1917