The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sault News Record (Sault Sainte Marie, MI), May 15, 1901

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The Bon Voyage Disaster.

W.S. Fain, a traveling man who was a passenger on the steamer Bon Voyage and made discovery of the fire which destroyed the craft, blames the crew and says they became panic stricken as soon as the alarm of fire was given. He declares boats could have been lowered, but the crew refused to work. Captain Foley then did the next best thing and made for shore. Fain was in the water forty minutes and was almost exhausted when picked up. Mr. Fain claims that the steamer's life preservers were in bad condition. The one he had was necessarily tied on with his necktie. There was nothing with which to fasten it and he did the next best thing. W. H. Baker and R. G. Cahill , a couple of railroad bridgemen, say that there was really but one member of the crew who showed any presence of mind and he did do effective work in providing the passengers with life preservers. The others did not appear to know what they were doing beyond an attempt to save themselves. Mr. Clos of St. Paul, a passenger claims that considerable time was lost because of the hose sticking to the iron arms by reason of the recent coat of paint. James h. Evans chief engineer of the steamer says he remained in the engine room until the boat came to a full stop and that he left the engine working ahead unchecked when the fire drove him out. He did not see the captain at all during the fire until he found him on shore.

The number of lives lost was four instead of five as at first reported. The victims were Mrs. Leah Sharp and Mrs. B. Altman and her two daughters. Mrs Sharp was Mrs. Altman's mother.

An investigation of the circumstances attending the burning of the Bon Voyage is being conducted by the local inspectors of the steam vessels of Marquette district. The burned steamer was valued in the Inland Lloyds register at $13,000 and insured for that amount. Her cargo had a value of $5,000, and was also fully insured.

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May 15, 1901
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Randy Whitehead
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sault News Record (Sault Sainte Marie, MI), May 15, 1901