Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Floated at Last
Sarnia Observer, 13 Nov 1885
Full Text
Floated at Last
The Propeller Quebec Raised

Detroit Nov. 6 -- Last midnight Capt. S.A. Murphy, of this city received a telegram from Capt. John E. Tobin, at Sault Ste Marie, announcing the practical accomplishment by Murphy's force of the most difficult and hazardous wrecking job every attempted on the chain of lakes—the successful raising of the Canadian propeller Quebec, sunk in 125 feet of water. ON the night of July 23rd the Quebec, bound down from Duluth to Sarnia with a cargo of flour and wool, stuck a partially submerged rock in the Neebish Channel, near Stiletto Island. She filled rapidly, and about twenty minutes after striking went down stern first in a rocky basin. The passengers and crew returned to the Sault and wired news of the disaster to Sarnia, stating that the vessel was in about thirty feet of water. The vessel was insured for $10,000 and the underwriters asked for bids for raising her. Murphy took the contract for $E4'500, on the condition that she was not over thirty feet deep. On learning the true state of affairs he refused to commence work under the contract, and afterwards entered into an agreement with th insurance companies to raise and tow her to port of safety for $18,500. Work was commenced Aug. 1st and since then has continued without interruption, about forty men and two submarine divers being employed. Owing to the position of the sunken craft it was very difficult to get chains under her stern and Harry Clark, one of the divers, was partially paralyzed in the attempt , owing to enormous pressure of the water at the depth in which he was compelled to carry on his labors. The chains were finally fastened under her and to her arches, and a lift made. The bow of the vessel was brought twenty feet nearer the surface when the chains parted and she dropped back in her old position. Four times did the wreckers succeed in getting her bow and pilot house above water, and as many times were doomed to disappointment, the chain either slipping or parting and spoiling the work of weeks. When Mr. Murphy left the Sault last week she was in ninety feet of water and the men were preparing to make another lift before abandoning the work for this season. The dispatch received last night stated that they had lifted her clear out of the hole and that she was resting on a good bottom in about thirty feet of water, the whole length of her cabin being above water. Now that she is out of the hole there will be no difficulty in raising and pumping her out, and before next week she will be in a port of safety.

Item Type
Date of Publication
13 Nov 1885
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Michigan, United States
    Latitude: 46.3167421869405 Longitude: -83.9953344769287
Randy Johnson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Floated at Last