The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 3 Oct 1895

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The steambarge Jack has been chartered to carry grain from Duluth to Toronto.

L.B. Spencer's steam yacht Wherenow has been pulled out on her ways for the winter.

The sloops Maggie L. and Madcap are at Richardson's elevator with peas and oats from bay ports.

The schr. Loretta Rooney, after discharging a cargo of coal for Booth & Co., cleared light today for Oswego.

The schr. Two Brothers has been heard from. She is at Oshawa. The high winds drove her into South Bay for shelter for several days.

The prop. Tilley and consorts were lying under the shelter of Long Point during the gale this week. Capt. Bates of the schr. Fabiola says they were there yesterday when he passed down.

The str. Bannockburn and her two consorts brought to this port 182,000 bushels of wheat. This was all discharged this afternoon, and tonight the tow will be enroute to Fort William for another cargo.

The str. Bannockburn, with 78,000 bushels of wheat, and consorts Selkirk and Winnipeg with 52,000 and 55,000 bushels of wheat respectively, arrived at the M.T. Co's dock last night. They will clear again tonight for Fort William.

The schr. Fabiola arrived yesterday from Oswego with coal for Booth & Co. Hers was the first arrival since the big blow on Tuesday. Capt. Bates says the sea during the gale was a sight to behold. His vessel was swept by the waves time and time again, but she outlived the storm.

The prop. Glengarry, towing the schooner Minnedosa, made a good run up the lake during the head wind this week. The tow went right ahead and covered the distance from this to Port Dalhousie in thirty eight hours, ten hours more than it usually takes. Everywhere along the route vessels and steamers were under shelter, but these two boats kept going right ahead.


Captain Fleming And Sailor Webb Give The Story.

The str. Bannockburn and consorts arrived in port last night from Fort William. Capt. Fleming, commander of the barge Selkirk, from whose deck Christie Gaskin fell to his death, was interviewed about his trip and also about the accident. He stated that on Sunday, Sept. 26th, the tow left Fort William, but when near Passage Island the steering gear of the Selkirk gave way, necessitating their return to Fort William for repairs. The wind was blowing a fierce gale, and the tow made slow progress out. It took them fourteen hours to go from Passage Island to Thunder Cape, instead of two hours as is usually the case. On Monday morning a second start was made and it was on this trip that the sad accident occurred. Capt. Fleming says that at the time of the accident he was working near the starboard quarter, aft. He heard a sailor cry out, "Man overboard," and at once gave the word to a man forward to blow the steam whistle attached to the donkey engine as a signal for the tow to stop, which was at once accomplished. The lifeboat was quickly lowered and two men started off to attempt the rescue of their comrade. When the boat touched the water the man in the water could not have been more than one hundred feet from the vessel, proceeding at the rate of seven or eight miles an hour. He did not hear any cry from the drowning man, who remained in sight for about five or six minutes.

Charles Webb, the young seaman working with the late Christy Gaskin, and who last spoke to him, was asked to relate just how the accident occurred, which he did. His account in substance is as follows: "Mate Gaskin and I were working amidships on the starboard side nailing some boards on an opening where the bulwarks had been washed away. I was standing on the deck nailing one end and Gaskin was at the other, about ten feet distant. One of the boards was a little too long and he stepped over the rail with an axe to cut the board to the right length. A strong wind was blowing at the time but no seas were boarding us, only an occasional flurry of spray. I finished nailing and turned to speak to Gaskin, but could not see him. On looking over the rail I saw him in the water, just about the stern of the vessel. I cannot say whether his feet slipped or he lost his hold. He did not cry out nor did I hear any splash. I at once shouted out "Man overboard," and Captain Fleming gave the signal to stop the tow. I ran to the stern and jumped into the yawl boat along with Dan. Sullivan. Mate Gaskin could not have been more than one hundred yards from the vessel when we left to attempt his rescue. We could not see him from the yawl, but those on the vessel directed our movements. We hunted around for over an hour and then returned to the vessel. The accident took place on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 24th, just abreast of Thunder cape. Where the accident occurred there are fully ninety fathoms of water, so that the chances of the body rising to the surface are very light. When he fell into the water the poor fellow had on high rubber boots and when these filled with water the weight dragged him down."

Thomas Gaskin, jr., is still in the vicinity on the lookout for the remains.

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3 Oct 1895
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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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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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 3 Oct 1895