The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 Oct 1913

Full Text

not published

Oct. 21, 1913



Toronto, Oct. 21st - To be shipwrecked off Scarboro Beach after two days continuous struggle against wintry elements and to be saved by Captain Ward and his crew, just when the waves of an exceptionally heavy sea were awash of the main deck, was the experience of the crew of the barque Sligo, who were taken from the abandoned ship yesterday and given warmth, food and other comforts at the Island filtration plant. Had it not been for the timely efforts of the lifesavers, who battled the huge waves for one and a half hours, the men, according to their own statements, would have been washed overboard into a sea which no expert swimmer could breast for long.

The chain of accidents and hardships commenced on Thursday, when the Sligo's bows were stove in while passing through the Welland canal. Divers were set to work on her in an effort to patch the holes sufficiently strong to bring her to Toronto. But the ship encountered one of the fiercest gales known to Captain Dan McVicar himself, which aroused the sea and pounded the weakened sides of the vessel, causing her to take in water at the rate of two feet per hour. Then, to make matters worse, the new hawser by which she was being towed by the Lake Michigan, belonging to the Point Ann quarry company, owners also of the Sligo, snapped, which left her at the mercy of the elements two miles off Bowmanville on Saturday morning.

Just as the ship was two miles off the eastern channel a sudden squall caused the boat to lurch violently, snapping the large boom, which in turn demolished the pump, and the boat became a helpless derelict. The water was rushing into the hold, and the captain, forseeing disaster, immediately blew distress signals.

Capt. Ward, of the island life-saving station, immediately put out in his lifeboat, but a half hour passed before the distressed crew was reached. The sea was running so high that it seemed as though the frail craft would capsize at any moment. Much difficulty was experienced by the life-savers in their repeated attempts to transfer the crew to their own boat; every time they would draw alongside, the Sligo rolled heavily, and at every lurch, it seemed as though the life-boat would be forced under the water by the former's massive bulwarks. By the time the difficult task had been accomplished, the lifeboat and derelict had drifted to within two miles of Gibraltar Point, where Capt. Ward and his crew were able to convey the worn-out mariners, Capt. McVicar, Edwin Wood of Toronto; Frederick Cole, of Toronto, and Andrew Walker, of Cobourg, to the island filtration plant (unreadable) for. The Sligo was later in the day beached.

p.6 The steamer Norwalk, of Detroit, was blown on Presque Isle rocks on Monday and her crew saved after a hard tussle.


The schooner Britton, of Gananoque, coal-laden, was beached at Garden Island, as a result of a leak in her hull. The schooner had taken four feet of water by the time she arrived at the island. Pumps were put to work on Sunday and Monday and the vessel was able to clear for Gananoque on Monday afternoon. The Calvin company did the work.

Swift's wharf: steamer Midland Queen and Dundurn passed up on Monday.

The steamer Simla passed up from Montreal to Port Colborne to load grain.

The liveliest kind of a storm raged on the lake all Monday night but as far as can be learned there were no mishaps.

The schooner Katie Eccles arrived from Oswego with coal for William Drury.

The sloop Ariadne arrived from Rideau canal ports and discharged a cargo of wood at R. Crawford's wharf afterwards going to the Kingston foundry dock for slight repairs.

The steamer Westerian arrived from Quebec on her first trip to Kingston, with Capt. LaFave in charge. The steamer is loaded with pulp wood and will discharge at Detroit.

M.T. Co.'s elevator: steamer Calgarian arrived Tuesday afternoon, from Fort William, with a full cargo of flax seed, oats and barley; tug Thomson from Montreal, three light barges; tug Bartlett is due to arrive tonight with the barges Ceylon and Burmah, grain-laden, from Port Colborne.

At the Davis dry dock: The schooner Bertha Calkins was docked on Monday for minor repairs. The steambarge Jeska, which lost her rudder, on the trip from Oswego to Kingston, loaded with coal, will be docked as soon as the Calkins leaves. The steamer Rideau King will enter the dock after the Jeska is released. This steamer has spent the past few days in the dock but the management thought it wise to dock her again and have her shaft straightened. It was the intention to leave this work until spring. The steamer Buena Vista is taking all freight from Kingston to Ottawa. The steam barge John Randall and the house boat Venona will be docked this fall for repairs.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Publication:
20 Oct 1913
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
Creative Commons licence:
pd [more details]
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

British Whig (Kingston, ON), 20 Oct 1913