The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Wed., April 28, 1880

Full Text

The scow J. H. McGruder,* lumber laden, and bound from Alcona to Detroit, arrived here yesterday morning and is now discharging her cargo at Barker's dock. This is the vessel which went ashore at Point aux Barques last Thursday, and while attempting the rescue of her crew the six gallant surfmen attached to the lifesaving station at that point perished. Capt. Arthur Conkey of the McGruder was interviewed yesterday by a representative of The Post and Tribune, to whom he gave the following account of the disaster: The McGruder was struck by the gale, the wind blowing directly from the east. She sprang a leak early Thursday morning above Point aux Barques and made water so fast that no headway could be made with the pumps. When the gale struck her she commenced drifting toward the beach, and when she struck she rested on a flat bottom. Instead of pounding, however, the water raised her up as she filled. Capt. Conkey then discovered that the pumps could be used with some effect, and they were accordingly resorted to. They first lightered the vessel by throwing over her deck load - between 10 and 15 m feet of lumber - and then worked vigorously at the pumps. Suddenly the wind shifted from east to northeast, and bethinking himself of a lucky expedient, Capt. Conkey hoisted sail and the wind carried the McGruder off the reef. In the meantime the signals of distress which had been raised had been seen by the people at the life saving station, and Capt. Kiah and his ill-starred crew immediately put out in their surf boat to aid the crew of the scow. The wind was blowing a terrible gale, the waves ran mountains high, dashing over the McGruder, drenching her crew as they labored at the pumps and watched the surfmen at the same time. At this time the water was so cold that it formed ice. Capt. Conkey says he watched the surfmen struggling in the water for nearly four hours, and saw them as they became exhausted and dropped one by one from their capsized boat into the lake. The gallant fellows never thought of turning back and died seeking to reach the disabled vessel. The McGruder succeeded in reaching Sand Beach harbor on Friday.

Media Type:
Item Type:
*spelled J. H. MAGRUDER, US#13745.
Date of Original:
Wed., April 28, 1880
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Wed., April 28, 1880