The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 6 Dec 1906

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Masters & Mates on Vessels Should Be British Subjects.

Session of the Commons (part)

Mr. Lancaster was less successful with his bill requiring masters and mates of Canadian vessels to be British subjects. Mr. Lancaster urged that under the United States statute all captains and mates of American vessels were required to be American citizens. He submitted that what was sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander....

(comments by other members)

Mr. Brodeur, the minister of marine and fisheries, evidently doubted if the measure was, after all, desirable. As a matter of fact very few Americans were licensed as captains and mates in Canada, but a large number of Canadians were licensed as captains and mates in the United States. He agreed that the bill should be read a second time and referred again to the special committee to whom it had been referred at the last session.



Edges At Least Should Be Reduced.

Marine men say that the city council and board of trade should act jointly and press upon the government the necessity of improving Kingston harbor in both national and international interests. In the days of schooners and old-time steamers the harbor was all right, but in these days of huge deep-draught vessels, heavily laden, the bottom of some parts of the water is too close to the top. There are two extensive shoals which should be wholly or partially removed by blasting. The sooner this is done the better.

On one occasion during the past season a vessel drawing sixteen feet of water had to come a mile and a half down the harbor at a speed like a crawl, as her rudder would strike bottom in some places, when she was under even half speed. This shows that some dredging in the harbor channel is also needed.

It is pointed out by a prominent marine man that there is no necessity of the government having the shoals completely blasted out. If the edges were reduced, that would be all that would be necessary. Vessels that got into trouble out opposite Swift's wharf were only on the outer edge of the shoal. If the channel was widened and deepened to at least twenty feet, the needs of the deep draught vessels would be fulfilled, he says.

This marine man also suggests that the government use the Martello tower in the harbor as a lighthouse by putting an acetylene gas light on top of it. The tower might well be used for such a purpose. Gas buoys should also mark the harbor channel.

Gathered Up Buoys.

The government is here, after completing her task of gathering up all the buoys on the St. Lawrence river between here and Prescott. In an interview with a Whig reporter a member of the Scout's crew remarked that this season was one of the best in the history of the Scout; they had no ice to bother them, though other years before the task of removing them from the water was completed some would be frozen in and the task of cutting them out of the icy water is better imagined than explained.

There are two kinds of buoys in use on the river, at present, remarked the watchman, the large gas buoy and the smaller can buoy, the first kind named being divided into several different styles. During the summer months the steamer is employed in keeping the gas supply at the correct pressure, the buoys requiring attention in this respect about every three weeks. Some years ago these buoys were changed on shore each season, but the accident which occurred a few years ago by the explosion of the two large buoys at the government dry-dock here, disclosed the fact that it is safer to change them when in their position in the water. The Scout leaves tomorrow for Prescott with the remaining buoys to go into winter quarters.

Marine Intelligence.

The slip at the M.T. Co. was about full this morning, there being tugs and barges galore.

The steamer Edmonton loaded grain at Fort William on Wednesday, for Richardsons'. The Advance will not load until Saturday.

The steambarge Navajo has arrived with a cargo of pressed hay from Amherst Island. The captain reports a fair trip. The Navajo has had a good season.

M.T. Co.: tug Emerson cleared for Montreal with three light barges; steamer Westmount from Fort William with grain, expected to arrive today; steamer Fairmount from Fort William is now in the canal. Each of the vessels will bring 90,000 bushels of wheat.

Up until early this morning no word had been received about the steamer City of New York, which went aground on Coteau Lake. A report reached here that the vessel had been released, and it is believed that she has gone in for shelter some place on her way back to Kingston.


Caught Fire On the Lake & Had To Be Beached.

Fate of the Hickox.

The Donnelly company's wrecking steamer returned last evening from its search for the missing steambarge Hickox, of Belleville, bound from Oswego, to that port with 350 tons of coal. The wrecked vessel was found on the west side of the Main Ducks, twenty two miles above Kingston. John Donnelly, who was in charge of the search party, found that the stern upperworks of the Hickox were burned. He was of opinion that part of the cargo could be saved if favorable weather prevailed.

It seems that the Hickox, which was owned by its captain, Henry Smith, of Belleville, left Oswego about noon on Sunday, and after a few hours out encountered a heavy snow storm and a heavy head wind. The vessel made slow progress against the heavy sea. Shortly before ten o'clock, when within a few miles of the Main Ducks, the vessel was discovered to be on fire. Every effort was made by the crew to extinguish the flames, but despite all they could do the fire gained much headway.

Captain Smith, seeing that there was no hope of saving the vessel headed her for the Main Ducks, this being the nearest land. The captain and crew beaching the boat and seeing that all chances of saving the vessel were fruitless, took the boat's yawl and rowed to shore. From there they were driven overland to McDonald's Cove. They were in an exhausted condition, and after being attended to were then driven to Picton, where they arrived yesterday.

Captain Smith says that the fire was likely caused by spontaneous combustion. He has been very unfortunate in losing vessels by fire, having had several burned in former years. There is insurance against fire of $2000 on the vessel and an insurance of $1,500 on the coal.

p.8 Manager Belongs To Kingston - James M. Smith, son of Thomas Smith, engineer of the Calvin company's steamer India, is manager and mechanical superintendent of the Collingwood Shipbuilding company, which yesterday successfully launched the new steamer Midland Prince. Mr. Smith received his early marine training on the Calvin company's boats, and then went across the line where he was with several shipbuilding companies.

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6 Dec 1906
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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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), 6 Dec 1906