The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Stadacona Skipper Needs Help in Leaving Port After Aiding Coalfax to Load Coal
Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY), 13 Aug 1958

Full Text
Stadacona Skipper Needs Help in Leaving
Port After Aiding Coalfax to Load Coal

By Everett W. Dona

Strong north-northeast wind Tuesday gave the Stadacona a rough time in moving out of the coal terminal and. harbor after Capt. E. Gow, skipper of the Canadian coal boat, had cooperated the previous afternoon to enable another coal boat to load ahead of his vessel and thus avoid losing 24 to 36 hours time.

The Stadacona arrived here at 3 p. m. Monday to load a cargo for Toronto. With a part of her consignment still on the rails enroute here. Capt. Gow suggested to the skipper of the Coalfax, Capt. L.P. McCartney, that he load his cargo before the Stadacona loading could be commenced. This would enable the other ship to avoid a 24 to 36 hour delay in port. To accomplish Gow's suggestion, the Coast Guard and Oswego Port Authority's Director Arthur C. Mengel Jr., were consulted and their cooperation secured. Some 600-feet of cable from the stern of the Stadacona was hauled by the Coast Guard aboard its elevator west-side wharf. With aid of the cable and the ship's engines the Stadacona's stern was moved out from the coal dock far enough to allow the Coalfax to squeeze in and load 2,800 tons of coal for Cardinal. Capt. Gow kept his engines in operation while the Coalfax was leading to keep his stern away from the other ship, which cleared the harbor at 11:47 that night.

Difficult Maneuver

Marine followers described this maneuvering by the giant coal boat as extremely difficult and praised the work of Capt. Gow in his foresight in suggesting the move.

Such cooperation, one lake front follower said today, leads to better service and efficiency in the harbor.

When the Stadacona completed is loading Tuesday about 5 p.m., the north northwest wind was blowing at 25 to 30 miles per hour velocity. The sea was reaching four feet high waves most of the day - and still is running about the same today.

With its self-unloading equipment the Stadacona stands high in the water. Even with a full load (more than 12,000 tons) the ship is high. Her load last night was 9,000 tons. This huge vessel, largest to use Oswego Harbor, has considerable maneuvering to do to move out of the Lackawanna terminal into the main h arbor so that she can head for the open lake.

The high northeast winds prevailing the past 48 hours added greatly to the difficulties encountered by the giant vessel. Capt. Gow was fearful that the wind would push his ship up onto the breakwall in its maneuvering from the harbor.

Tug Great Help

Efforts were made to secure several tugs in the harbor to assist in keeping the ship off the breakwall were made by Port Director Mengel and others. After considerable time it was learned that Oil Transfer Co.'s tug Sampson was due here about 9 p.m. Tuesday and arrangements were made to have the Sampson assist in the harbor clearance of the Stadacona.

Capt. Alexander Burgo of 16 Varick St., this city, is skipper of the lake-going tug, and rejoined the vessel when he arrived here Tuesday night. He commanded the tug while it worked to keep the huge coal boat off the wall as she worked her way around to leave the harbor. The Stadacona cleared the harbor entrance at 11 p.m.

Cooperation of everyone was praised by local harbor followers. They all remarked that this was another example why Oswego harbor will become a busy Seaway port in years to come. Every effort was made to speed the departure of the coal boat under the trying wind conditions.

The new detached breakwall will have no effect on similiar situations in the future when completed, mariners said today. The ships of the Stadacona size stand too high above the breakwall to gain any protection from high northeast winds, they added.

Dona, Everett W., Author
Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
13 Aug 1958
Personal Name(s):
Gow, Erwald
Corporate Name(s):
Canada Steamship Lines
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.4627015908271 Longitude: -76.5128174285889
Richard Palmer
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Stadacona Skipper Needs Help in Leaving Port After Aiding Coalfax to Load Coal