The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 28 Aug 1905

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Why The Argyle Ran Full Speed In Fog.

The judgement of Commander Spain, R.N., wreck commissioner of Canada, and Capt. Thomas Donnelly, assessor, in connection with the steamer Argyle is of great interest to the marine interests. In it is noted the fact that life boat and fire drill were carried out regularly on the Argyle, and it would be well for all captains to follow out that practice, which though required, is not much observed on the inland waters.

The thing of striking importance is with regard to the Argyle being run at her regular speed during the fog on the morning of the casualty. It seems that she was going at the rate of between eleven and twelve miles an hour. The regulation in respect to speed of ships in a fog is as follows: "Every vessel shall, in a fog, mist, falling snow or heavy rainstorm, go at a moderate speed, having careful regard to the existing circumstances and conditions."

General Manager Hazlett, who was in Kingston on Saturday, does not think that the Argyle was in any danger by running at her regular speed. It had been done all along, he says. The Argyle ran the course to Oshawa by compass and by minutes. It took two hours and forty minutes to cover the distance. As far as collision was concerned, he says, there was no danger, as that route is run by scarcely any other vessel. It was necessary, he points out, for the Argyle to run as she did. If she didn't, it would be impossible for her to make an afternoon run on time. As to allowing more leeway on the morning in question, he points out that had the Argyle run a couple of miles further out on the lake and reached the point where she turns into the bay at Oshawa after two hours and thirty-six minutes had elapsed, she would have been in more danger than she was by running at full speed along her usual course. When the two hours and thirty-six minutes had elapsed, in what position would she have been? Probably too far out on the lake to hear the fog horn at the station out from Oshawa. In that case she would simply have been obliged to feel her way about till the fog lifted. Mr. Hazlett's contention is that the method pursued by running the Argyle at full speed to the point of turning was the safest way of reaching her destination, and that the accident that befel her was a mere chance and liable to have occurred no matter at what speed the steamer was running.

The Argyle's accident shows the necessity of having another fog horn station near the place where she was stranded.


The S.S. Fairmount, Washburn, Mich., to Sydney, C.B., with ore, touched here yesterday.

The tug Thomson arrived from Charlotte with a coal-laden barge for the K. & P. railway.

M.T. company wharf: tug Glide up with three light barges and cleared for Montreal with the schooner Luff.

The schooner Collier came out of Davis' dry dock today after having the damage, sustained by her recent accident, repaired.

The steamer Scout is again in Davis' dry dock to have her keelsons fastened on. She will be ready to be handed over to the marine department this week.

Craig's wharf: steamer Varuna, from Thousand Island Park, this morning; propeller Persia up yesterday; steamers Alexandria and Waterlily down tonight; yacht Castanet from Alexandria Bay.

Swift's wharf: steamers Kingston, down and up yesterday; North King from Charlotte yesterday; Toronto down and up today; Aletha from bay ports; Picton down yesterday; schooner Theodore Voges from Charlotte with coal.

The steamers North King and Caspian have finished their bi-daily runs to Kingston and Thousand Islands. Henceforth till the date of going into winter quarters they will run excursions from Charlotte to Toronto, with the exception of Sundays, when the river trips will be made.

Day's Episodes - There were fully two thousand on Swift's wharf yesterday afternoon when the steamers Kingston and North King arrived. It was also a banner trip for both boats, the crowd of passengers being noticeably large.

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28 Aug 1905
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Geographic Coverage:
  • 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), 28 Aug 1905