The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Terrible Sufferings of Shipwrecked Crews
Globe (Toronto, ON), 12 Nov 1913, p. 1-2
Full Text
How Turret Chief and L. C. Waldo Were Dashed on the Rocks -- The Crews Almost Fozen, Were for Many Hours Without Food or Shelter

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)

Calumet, Mich., Nov. 11 -- Loss to shipping on Lake Superior occasioned by the gale which blew from Friday till to-day will be close to a million dollars, according to the reports coming in from every side. Two and perhaps three ships are total losses, while heavy damage was sustained by many others.

The L. C. Waldo is a total loss on Gull Rock, Manitou Island, and the Turret Chief is a total loss six miles east of Copper Harbor. Another boat, name unknown is reported a total loss on Angus Island, near Isle Royale. The latter report is not confirmed.

Capt. Paddington of the Turret Chief, a steel-built boat, which is owned by the Canadian Lake & Ocean Transportation Company and is in the service of the Merchant's Mutual Line of Toronto, to-night told a graphic story of the wreck of his ship. He reached here to-night with his crew, coming by railroad from Mandan.

May Be a Total Loss

Capt. Paddington says the bottom is scraped from his boat, and that she is probably a total loss. Unless something can be done to take her off this fall, the winter's ice will crush her like an egg-shell. [Her] loss is a hundred thousand.

The Turret Chief was 110 miles northwest by west of Whitefish Point when struck by the storm Friday afternoon. She was bound from Midland, Ont., for Fort William. Being light she drifted rapidly before the heavy wind, and although Captain and crew believed her well up the centre of the lake, she became unmanageable before the gale and struck Keweenaw Point at 4 o'clock Saturday morning, the great waves lifting her far up on the rocks, where she partially careened when the sea went down. She is entirely out of the water.

The members of the crew, seventeen in number, managed to leave the boat Saturday afternoon after terrible experiences in the surf, and camped all night and Sunday in a hut they erected of driftwood on the shore. They wandered through the woods, half frozen and exhausted, and finally, directed by trappers, reached Mandan yesterday morning after being without food or shelter for 48 hours.

The crew left for Toronto to-night. The crews show evidences of their exposure in pinched faces and emaciated frames. Trappers fed them and furnished clothing for those who escaped without their clothing. None saved their effects and Geo. R. [ ]ton had to wire to Toronto for transportation home.

Second Mate Bowman and one man [ p. 2 ] have been left at the boat temporarily. The plight of the Turret Chief was not known till her crew reached Mandan to-day. The Turret Chief, is a steel boat, 257 feet in length, first build for trade in the Baltic Sea.

Ninety Hours Without Any Food or Shelter

Capt. J. W. Duddleson and members of his crew of twenty-six men and two women, who were rescued from the forward half of their steamer, the L. C. Waldo, on Manitou Island to-day, also told a terrible tale of hardship and suffering. They were without food or shelter for ninety hours until they were rescued by the Portage life-saving crew and the tug Hebard. The Waldo struck Gull Rock at 8 o'clock Saturday morning and broke in two, her masts, stack and cabins being smashed off, by the great seas. She was bound down from Two Harbors to Erie with iron ore and was struck by the storm seventy-five miles west of Keweenaw Point at midnight Friday. The pilot house and cabins were torn off by the mountainous waves which poured upon the ship, carrying compasses and all but the auxiliary steering gear, and putting the lighting equipment out of commission, after which a course was steered by a pocket compass lighted by a lantern.

Vain attempt at Rescue.

Capt. Duddleson had little idea of his location when he heard surf beating on Gull Rock and Manitou, his ship bearing directly towards the rocks. After battling in vain for leeway for eighteen hours, driven by the seventy-mile gale, he attempted to make the passage between Gull Rock and the island, but struck, the heavily laden steamer breaking immediately. Member of the crew were forced to lash themselves to stanchions and the hatch covers to save their lives. The steamer Stephenson was sighted Saturday afternoon attempting to come to the aid of the Waldo, but after fighting wind and wave for seven and a half hours had to give up and run for shelter.

The Waldo was built in West Bay City in 1896 for Robey Transportation Company of Detroit. She is 451 1/2 feet in length, valued at three hundred thousand.

The Huronic None the Worse.

Sault Ste. Marie. Nov. 11.--The Northern Navigation Company's steamer Huronic, Capt. Campbell, which was stranded on the sands at Shelldrake, was successfully floated to-day, and passed down through the Soo at six o'clock this evening, apparently none the worse for the experiences of the trip, which mariners all agree, has been one of the worst storms that has swept Lake Superior for some time.

Failed to Find Wreck on Angus Island

Fort William, Ont., Nov. 11.--Immediately on receipt of the advice of Captain Foot of the steamship Hammonic that he had sighted what he took to be the steel freighter Leafield on the rocks at Angus Island., the steam tug J. T. Horn was despatched to the scene of the disaster. The tug arrived back in port late last night with the information that no vessel was aground on the island other than the old hull of the Monkshaven, which was wrecked some years ago. The supposition is that Captain Foote had either mistaken the old wrecked hull for the Leafield, or if a vessel had been wrecked there she had slid off into deep water and sunk. The Leafield was loaded with steel rails for the Canadian Pacific Railway. She is several days overdue.

A U.S. Lightship Lost; Steamer Grammer Ashore

Buffalo, Nov. 11. -- Fragments of wreckage tossed ashore along many miles of lakefront to-day confirmed the fear that the storm which lashed Lake Erie on Sunday and Monday had claimed its tool of death. Six men perished when Lightship No. 82 was torn from her anchorage fifteen miles up the lake, and either foundered or was shattered on the breakwall under cover of the blinding snowstorm on Monday. At Lorrain, Ohio, the steamer G. J. Grammer, under command of Captain Burns of Buffalo, is hard ashore and in a dangerous position. Life savers are standing by, but are unable to take off the crew because of the heavy seas. She is a freighter 418 feet long, and was built at Superior, Wis., in 1902.

The crew lost with Lightship No. 82 consisted of six men, as follows: Captain Hugh M. Williams of Manistee, Mich.; Andrew Leahy, mate, Elyria, Ohio; Charles Butler, engineer, Buffalo; Cornelius Leahy, assistant engineer, Conneaut, Ohio; Peter Mackey, cook, Buffalo; William Jensen, seaman, Muskegon, Mich.

Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
12 Nov 1913
Personal Name(s)
Paddington, Captain ; Bowman, Mate ; Duddleson, J. W. ; Williams, Hugh M. ; Leahy, Andrew ; Butler, Charles ; Leahy, Cornelius ; Mackey, Peter ; Jensen, William
Corporate Name(s)
Canadian Lake & Ocean Transportation Company ; Merchant's Mutual Line ; Roby Transportation Company ; Northern Navigation Company ; Canadian Pacific Railway
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 47.24659 Longitude: -88.45401
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Terrible Sufferings of Shipwrecked Crews