The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Toronto Daily Star (Toronto, ON), Sept. 17, 1949

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Drops Coat to Man Raft Get it Back, Pay and All

Towing a heavy raft behind him, Don Williamson, 27 of Dufferin Street, swam to the rescue of a score of people trapped on the bow of the burning Noronic.

Scrambling out of his clothing Williamson left his jacket with his pay in the pocket on the dock and dived in.

She was blazing a bit aft but already the people on the upper deck were panicky and jumping over. Some jumped right on the raft and nearly swamped me.

Sliding down Ropes

Soon men and women were sliding down a rope in my direction when they saw the big raft below the anchor. Another fellow, I believe he was a policeman jumped in almost fully clothed and swam to my assistance and both of us pulled in people from all directions. One woman was lowered by tying a rope around under the arms.

"One fellow on the highest part of the ship threw his suitcase into the water first and jumped in after it. I pointed him out, struggling in the water to a lifeguard in a rowboat and he was saved. There were others in greater danger for that man wore a life preserver.

Remembered Pay

"When I could see all were off the ship I remembered my pay in my pocket on the wharf and after helping the passengers ashore went to the spot where I had let my clothes. My jacket and pay were gone.

"Looking up and down the dock I spotted the forlorn figure of a man in soaking wet pyjamas, wearing my jacket. "I borrowed it because I was cold," he said apologetically. And I felt so sorry for him I forgot about my pay. I let him wear it until he left for the hospital in an ambulance with plenty of blankets.

"My pay?’ Williamson suddenly realized and dug into his jacket pocket for the firs time since he missed it. The money was there, every cent of it.

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Date of Original:
Sept. 17, 1949
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Randy Johnson
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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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Toronto Daily Star (Toronto, ON), Sept. 17, 1949