The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Athabasca (Propeller), C85764, aground, 1 Jul 1913

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      Was Released Promptly By Aid of Wireless Message
      Steam Barge Van Allen Grounded Near Cape Croker, Released
      After Being Lighted by Tug Jones, and Came to Owen Sound.
Early Saturday morning the C.P.R. steamer ATHABASCA en route from Fort William to Port McNicoll, ran aground on the end of a shoal on Bear's Rump Island as the head of the Bruce Peninsula. She remained there until about 5:30 on Saturday evening when after transferring her passengers to the ASSINIBOIA and part of her cargo to a scow which had been brought from Tobermory by the tug QUEEN she was able to back off the shoal and proceed under her own steam to Port McNicoll arriving there early on Sunday morning apparently none the worse for her adventure.
Between midday and midnight on Friday a severe electric storm raged on the lakes traveling eastward. The passengers on the ATHABASCA remained on deck to a late hour admiring the grandeur of the storm and the effect of the lightening as it skipped along the surface of the water. As the storm subsided a dense fog arose and gradually thickened until it was impossible for the lookout to discern the location of the vessel. When the fog enveloped the steamer she was traveling between the Flower Pot Island and the mainland and ran ashore within a few feet of the channel entrance.
      When the vessel grounded she was barely moving and only a few of the passengers were aware of the occurrence. There was no panic and the majority of the passengers remained in their berths and evinced great surprise when they came on deck in the morning and found the steamer ashore.
      As soon as the ATHABASCA grounded a wireless message was sent out and the steamer ASSINIBOIA left Port McNicoll for the scene. The tug HARRISON under the command of Captain Waugh also left here to render assistance but before the HARRISON reached the spot the tug QUEEN from Tobermory had gone out to aid the ATHABASCA with a scow. The scow was then loaded with about three hundred tons of flour from the ATHABASCA cargo and the passengers numbering about two hundred were transferred to the ASSINIBOIA. The wind shifted about the same time and the steamer was able to back off uninjured.. The flour was then reloaded and the ATHABASCA continued on her journey. The passengers were delayed just about twelve hours but none of them experienced any discomfort.
The ATHABASCA was in charge of Captain John Curry and besides a large passenger list had a heavy cargo on board. The spot where she grounded was about two miles from the Flower Pot Island where she ran on the rocks about four years ago She went to Port McNicoll and then to Collingwood where she will be inspected before making her next trip...
The steam barge VAN ALLEN under Captain Thomson which was coming from Port Arthur with a load of pebbles for the cement works ran ashore at Cove Cork Bay, near Cape Croker about 29 miles from where the ATHABASCA was lying. Word was sent to Owen Sound and Contractor Ed. Sargent with a gang of men left on the tug JONES with a scow to assist her. About one hundred and fifty tons of the cargo of the VAN ALLEN was loaded on the scow and being thus lightened she was able to back off about eleven o'clock Saturday night and arrived here about six o'clock Sunday morning. The tug CHAMBERLAIN which had been dispatched from Little Current to lighten the ATHABASCA also came to the assistance of the VAN ALLEN. The barge was none the worse for her mishap.
      Owen Sound Sun
      July 8, 1913 [courtesy Bill Hester]

Screw steamer ATHASBASCA. Official Canada No. 85764. Of 2,268 gross tons; 1,514 tons register. Built in 1883 at Kelvinhaugh, G. B. Home port, Montreal, Que. 262.8 x 38.2 x 23.2 Owned by Canadian Pacific Railway, Montreal, Que.
      List of Vessels on the Register of the
      Dominion of Canada on Dec. 31, 1905

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Reason: aground
Lives: nil
Remarks: Got off
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William R. McNeil
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Athabasca (Propeller), C85764, aground, 1 Jul 1913