The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Examiner (Barrie, ON), Sept. 21, 1882

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The steamer Asia of the Northern Transit Co. line on route from Owen Sound to French River, foundered in the storm of Thursday last. At the time of the accident the steamer was some nineteen or twenty miles from land, a heavy sea struck the boat and sent her over on her side; many jumped to the hurricane deck, the boats were cut from their davits and as the Asia went down were shoved off. There is no doubt that the upper decks were carried away and floated after the hull sank. The cabin boy who died and all the victims were washed overboard by the waves as they succumbed from exhaustion or injuries, until five were left in the metallic boat, which were Tinkiss and Miss Morrison. One after another they died; the captain being the last to give up the battle, and at about daylight the two survivors landed . They walked half a mile up the coast and remained on the beach until found by an Indian.

The following are reported lost Wm. Henry, Toronto; J. Mariin, Toronto; Rev. J. James and wife, Clinton; Mr Morey, and three unknown parties who left the Central Hotel, Toronto, and took passage.


Tinkiss is about 17 years of age, and the coolness and endurance displayed by him is remarkable. By Monday morning he seemed little the worse of the exposure, and left Toronto for his home on Manitoulin by the steamer Southern Belle.

Miss Morrison barely escaped brain fever. She is yet confined to her room and bed. The Doty , after passing the boat, proceeded as far as the light-house, but finding a heavy sea running she returned for shelter to the Pancakes for the night. On Sunday morning she again attempted to reach the Limestone Islands but was prevented by the stress of the weather. She then took the inside of the channel, and proceeded to Point au Baril. She finally sent her yawl and an accompanying skiff to the outside of the islands, where a cupboard containing table linen, silver spoons and forks, and a dinner, was recovered. Other wreckage was picked up, but no bodies or boats were seen. The tug returned to Parry Sound Sunday evening.


The Asia contained about thirty staterooms with a single and double berth in each All were occupied and most were full. There were a number of women and children on board. Two young woman occupied the same room with Miss Morrison, and went into the same boat with her, but were lost the first time the boat capsized. The room occupied by Mr Tinkiss also contained Mr Gallagher and Mr. Henry of Mudge Bay whose brother was lost on the Manitoulin last spring. The two Henry's were well- known lumbermen One woman with four small children had another with her, two have been mentioned by Miss Morrison.


As far as can be learned eighty-five passengers went on board at Collingwood, twelve at Owen Sound, and the crew consisted of about twenty-five all told. There should be no guesswork about this, as the number who went on board at Collingwood must be accurately known at the company's office.

The Asia was a regularly inspected steamship, and was sailing with the approbation of the officers of the Dominion Government. Her fate would lead one to suppose that she was utterly unseaworthy. We have heard it said that the company who had chartered the vessel are notorious for engaging the services of incompetent sailors, carrying this economical plan to such lengths that their crews in the upper lakes are known as the "farmer crews"...

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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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Examiner (Barrie, ON), Sept. 21, 1882