The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 13 May 1905

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The City Has No Claim For Salvage.

In connection with the proposed demand of the fire and light committee upon the government for salvage on the steamer Scout, Capt. Thomas Donnelly, who is recognized as one of the foremost marine authorities in Canada, was asked for an opinion. He was emphatic in declaring that the city had no claim for salvage; and, furthermore, said it was very bad taste for any alderman to suggest such a thing in view of the fact that Kingston has benefitted very materially in the past two years through the steamer Scout being rebuilt here and in this port being made its district stopping place.

Discussing the salvage claim, Capt. Donnelly stated that no fire brigade could be constituted as a marine salvage corps. A fire brigade's duty is to protect the property within the limit of its jurisdiction, and that was all the brigade did when it fought the fire on the steamer Scout and protected surrounding property from danger. In determining salvage, there are a number of points to be considered, chief of which are: (1) What good was done, and (2) what risk was run? Regarding the first point, Capt. Donnelly points out that the brigade's towing the Scout around the wharf into a shallow slip was of little or no use. It would have been better had the boat been sunk in the first place, as the fire would have been extinguished at once and more of the vessel saved. There would have been very little more trouble about pumping out the Scout had she sunk outside the wharf than in the slip. Capt. Donnelly said he did not depreciate the work of the fire brigade, which did excellent work, and would no doubt be remembered by the marine department, but he could see no sense in a proposal of a civic committee to ask the government for salvage because the brigade simply did its duty. The city was not a salvor under the principles of marine law. One of these principles is that if property is not benefitted by the exertions of salvors, they cannot claim any compensation. In the present case, owing to circumstances, the steamer Scout was not benefitted to any extent by the fire brigade.

Movement of Vessels.

The schooner Voges cleared from Booth's wharf for Oswego.

At Swift's wharf: steamer Rideau King, down, this evening.

At Craig's wharf: steamer Alexandria up last night; steamer Persia down tonight.

The schooner Clara Youell was expected to clear from Swift's for Charlotte this evening.

The steamer Rosedale is due, on Monday, at Richardsons' elevator, from Fort William.

Capt. John Ryan left this morning for the east. He has been engaged to take charge of a tug down the river.

Richardsons' elevator: steamer Myles from Fort William, with 40,000 bushels of wheat, and will clear up tonight.

Crawford's wharf: schooner Annandale cleared for Oswego; steambarge Westport from Rideau Canal ports with merchandise.

The steamer Alcen, of Perth, is here for inspection. She towed a new raft from Newboro to Garden Island for the Calvin company.

The heavy fog last evening made navigation dangerous. The steamer Alexandria lay off Craig's wharf for over an hour before she could make a landing.

The steamer Nicaragua, of the Ogdensburg Coal and Towing company, is aground in the mud Galoup canal. The steamer has 2,000 tons of coal for Montreal from Oswego.

W.H. Nichols' steam yacht Nokomis has been drydocked at Alexandria Bay, N.Y., and will be rebuilt. She will be made fifteen feet longer with steel strapping the entire length. When completed she will be one of the finest yachts plying the river.

The propeller Cuba, bound up, ran ashore on Friday at Long Point, off Prince Edward county coast. She is heavily laden and has a good passenger list. The steamer Donnelly, with lighter, pumps and men, went up during the night for the steamer's relief.

p.3 Picton, May 12th - The schooners W.J. Suffel and Clara arrived in port today, and are unloading coal. The sloop Madcap cleared Thursday. Capt. Savage's new purchase, the schooner Mary Ann, arrived in the harbor today with coal for Hepburn's. The schooner Annie Minnes left today on her initial trip of the season. Capt. Van Vlack is going to convert the coal schooner Suffel into a tow barge, in which form it will make faster time in the coal business. Hepburn Bros. have installed a new plant for steaming plank at their dry dock.

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13 May 1905
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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), 13 May 1905