The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 23 Oct 1913

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Sank in Lake Ontario Early Thursday Morning

The barge Ceylon, owned by the Montreal Transportation company, in tow of the tug Bartlett, foundered eight miles below Long Point during the heavy storm, on Thursday morning at three o'clock. The crew were taken off by the members of the crew of the tug Bartlett.

The barges Ceylon and Burmah, formerly owned by the Calvin company, were loaded with grain from Port Colborne to Montreal by way of Kingston.

At the time of the accident the waves were rolling very high and as a result they washed over the hatchways, and caused her to take considerable amount of water and sank in about an hour's time.

The barge Ceylon was in charge of Captain Robert Siddell, 51 Bay street; Mate Pheliz Compeau, Union street and his crew, John Gallagher, George Stockbridge, Harry Funnell, Oscar Nelson and Miss A. Milford the cook.

Shortly after one o'clock the tug Bartlett arrived at the M.T. Co.'s wharf and the crew related the sad experience to the officials of the company.

Mate Compeau, when speaking to the Whig representative, stated that if it had not been for the prompt action of Captain Alphonse Lepine Jr., of the tug Bartlett, he believed that all the members of the crew would have gone down with the ill-fated barge.

The story of the crew is that the two barges and the tug had passed Long Point by about eight miles, and were about seven miles from shore when the fatality occurred. The waves kept rolling over and it was seen at once that the end was near.

The night was dark and the only way that the crew had of signalling the crew of the tug was by way of a torch light. All of the coal which had been used in the fires on the Ceylon had been washed overboard by seas.

The crew of the tug noticed the signal of distress and immediately turned around and picked up the members of the ill-fated barge, and brought them safely to Kingston.

After the captain of the Bartlett had rescued the crew, he immediately made his way to South Bay for the purpose of seeing whether or not the Burma was in any danger. She had taken a little water, but this was pumped out and the tug made her way to Kingston.

Oscar Nelson, a Norwegian, received some injuries as a result of some timbers falling on him shortly before the crew were taken off the ill-fated barge. Captain Ferguson was in charge of the Burma. It is feared that a good quantity of the grain on the Burma has been damaged. The barge Ceylon was built in 1891.

The Navajo Ashore

The steam barge Navajo, of Kingston, went ashore in the Reach, near Deseronto, during the night. She carries a cargo of coal for Napanee.

p.4 Kingston Events 25 Years Ago - Divers J.S. Coulson and A.A. McKenzie are raising several sunken craft at the foot of Union street.



The steamers Hamiltonian and Fairmount, which were due at the Montreal Transportation company's elevator at an early hour on Thursday morning, were delayed for some hours on account of the heavy wind which blew all night. Marine men state that the wind was the heaviest on the lake for some time.

The men who were in charge of the passenger steamers which are tied up at the wharves along the water front had a busy time on Thursday morning putting out extra lines to keep the vessels from drifting away.

M.T. Co.'s elevator: steamers Hamilonian and Fairmount expected to discharge grain from Fort William on Thursday; tug Bartlett due on Thursday from Port Colborne to Montreal, with the barges Burmah and Ceylon, loaded with grain; four tugs and nine barges will clear for Montreal on Thursday.

The steamer Sowards arrived from Oswego at seven o'clock on Wednesday night, with a cargo of coal for Sowards. The steamer had quite a rough passage over the lakes. There was a very heavy sea.

The steamer Edmonton arrived from Fort William, and is discharging wheat at Richardson's elevator. The vessel broke three of her lines when tieing up at the wharf.

The steamer Dundee was in port today, on her way to Montreal.

The steambarge Reliance, of Montreal, with her crew and contractor A.J. Lee, of the same city, have left for Chippewa Point, near which the Montreal Light, Heat and Power company's three year old steel steambarge Keystone (sic - Keystorm ?) struck a rock and sank on Oct. 26th of last year.

No wrecks or material damage were reported on Thursday morning from Wednesday night's storm. A steamer and a couple of schooners sought shelter at Four Mile Point.

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23 Oct 1913
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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), 23 Oct 1913