The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Times (Orillia, ON), Sept 21, 1882

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Wreck of the Asia


COLLINGWOOD, Sept. 17 - Information has just been received here from Parry Sound of the loss of the Steamer Asia, of the Great Northern Transit company, which left here on Wednesday evening for French river and Sault Ste. Marie, Mr. Tinkiss, who with Miss Morrison, is supposed to be the only survivor makes the following statement; I went aboard the Asia at Owen sound about midnight on Wednesday in company with J. H. Tinkiss and H.B. Gallagher, both of Manitowaning. The Steamer was crowded, all the staterooms being full and passengers lying on sofas and the cabin floor. All went well until about 11 o'clock on Thursday morning when the storm struck her. I was in my berth at the time and my uncle J. H. Tinkiss, jumped up and said the boat was doomed. We left the cabin and found difficulty in getting on deck, the boat was rolling so heavily. I got a life preserver and put it on. The steamer went into the trough of the sea and would not obey her helm. She rolled heavily for about twenty minutes, when she was struck by a heavy sea and foundered and went down about 11:30 with engines working. The Asia was making for French river and carrying men, horses and lumbermens' supplies there. I saw the boats lowered. I was in the first boat. About eight were with me at first; but more got in till the boat was overloaded and turned over twice, Parties were hanging on to my life preserver which got displaced and I threw it off. I then left the boat and swam to the captain's boat which was near by, and asked Mr. John McDougall, the purser, to help me in . He said it was but little use but he gave me his hand. When I got in there were eighteen in the boat and by that time there was a large number in and clinging to the boat I had left. I know nothing of the third boat. Our boat rolled over, and I remember missing poor John McDougall a few minutes after he helped me in. People were hanging on to the spars and other parts of the wreckage. Our boat was full of water, and the sea was constantly breaking over us. One of the first to die on the boat was the cabin boy. He was dying and being supported by one of the men, when a wave washed him overboard. The next to go was a deck hand. He was near the gunwale coughing badly, when he jumped out and I could see him paddling around in the water for nearly a hundred yards. Our number was now reduced to seven, five of whom died before reaching the beach. Capt. Savage, who was last, died in my arms about midnight on Thursday. The boat finally stranded near Point au Barrie about midnight on Friday with Miss Morrison and myself the only two survivors.

COLLINGWOOD, Sept.. 18 - No further particulars as to the loss of the steamer Asia have yet reached here, and nothing can be expected until the arrival of the Steamer Northern Belle, which was dispatched from Parry Sound to the scene of the disaster, or until the return of the tug Mary Ann, sent from here early this morning. The steamer when leaving here Wednesday evening, 13th, had on board a gang of McDougall's men, with supplies, five teams, &c., bound for French River, as well as a fair complement of passengers. The following are a few of those who are booked here the names of others it will be difficult to secure - they having purchased through tickets, and the steamer's books being lost


The crew consists of captain J. N. Savage ...purser John McDougal


The passengers were twenty-seven or thirty shantymen, names yet unknown... The two saved are D .C. Tinkiss and Miss Christie Morrison, who have not yet reached here from Parry Sound. Numerous Telegrams have been received here for a full list of the passengers on board, but it is impossible to get it. It appears that the only list is with the purser, and he, with the passengers and crew, went down in the vessel.

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Sept 21, 1882
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Bill Hester
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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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Times (Orillia, ON), Sept 21, 1882