Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 23, no. 4 (January 1991), p. 9

The following text may have been generated by Optical Character Recognition, with varying degrees of accuracy. Reader beware!

9. Ship of the Month - cont'd. freeboard and almost any the barge was fully loaded, she had very little kind of a sea would break right over her deck. Once BRUCE HUDSON was in service, both she and ROY K. RUSSELL were used to carry crude oilfrom Montreal to Port Credit. The first tug used was MUSCALLONGE, and fora while (until the practice was determined to be both unwieldy and dangerous) she towed both barges in tandem. As MUSCALLONGE was too long (at 128 feet) to enter any of the St. Lawrence Canal locks together with either barge, she took along with her the small (54 foot), wooden-hulled tug AJAX for use in the locks. ROY K. RUSSELL was prohibited from using the St. Lawrence Canals while laden with oil due to her advanced age and deteriorated hull condition (she even had a wooden main deck), and so she was left at Prescott while the HUDSON was towed down to Montreal East. BRUCE HUDSON then returned to Prescott and pumped her cargo into the RUSSELL, thereafter returning to Montreal East to pick up her own load. On the return trip to Port Credit, the RUSSELL was picked up at Prescott. MUSCALLONGE would then lead the tow, usually with the RUSSELL astern of her. Then followed BRUCE HUDSON, and AJAX was trailed out astern of the second barge. As the bunker capacity of AJAX was extremely limited, she usually was towed deadhead to Port Credit. It seems strange, at first glance, that the company would go to all the trouble to bring AJAX back to Port Credit from Prescott on each upbound trip. The fact is that the Lloyd Refineries dock at Port Credit was located in a slip to the west of the Credit River, which earlier had been excavated by M. J. Haney to facilitate the shipment of bricks and materials to and from his brickworks there. The slip was only eleven feet deep, and MUSCALLONGE drew too much water to get into it. As originally built, the HUDSON was not equipped with her own pumping equipment and she required steam from a tug in order to unload. Thus it was necessary to have AJAX at the ready when the HUDSON reached Port Credit. Resplendent in her Lloyd Tankers colours, with a bright red hull and white cabins, the BRUCE HUDSON got herself into serious trouble the month after she entered service. On Friday, July 12th, 1935, whilst off Cobourg in Lake Ontario and upbound in tow of MUSCALLONGE (the practice of towing two barges in tandem on the open lake already had been abandoned as too dangerous), the HUDSON encountered heavy weather. The barge reacted badly to the conditions, dug in her bow and eventually capsized. Some of her cargo of 7, 500 barrels of crude escaped, but her seven-man crew was rescued by the tug AJAX. With the aid of the Sin-Mac Lines Ltd. tug RIVAL, the barge was towed upside-down to Toronto, where on July 15th she was secured just inside the Eastern Gap. There, the remaining cargo was siphoned off into the ROY K. RUSSELL, which had been brought to the scene. RIVAL and MUSCALLONGE then tried to roll the barge over upright, but their efforts were unsuccessful. Accordingly, BRUCE HUDSON was towed upside-down across the lake to Port Weller, where the Welland Ship Canal's big GATE LIFTER NO. 1 assisted in getting the job done. Not much the worse for her traumatic experience, the HUDSON soon was cleaned up and went back into her regular service. In the autumn of that same year, 1935, the BRUCE HUDSON again got into trouble in heavy weather on Lake Ontario. To tell the story, we can do no better than to quote the account of Capt. William J. Stitt, master ofthe tug ETHEL, as told to C. H. J. Snider, which appeared as "Schooner Days CCLXXIX" in "The Evening Telegram", Toronto, issue of February 13, 1937. "On October 10th, 1935, the Lloyd Refineries chartered the tug ETHEL (from Harrigan Tug Lines, Port Dalhousie - e d . ) to tow the BRUCE HUDSON between Montreal and Port Credit carrying crude oil. I was put in command of her, and was on our second trip up when we ran into the (mid-November) gale

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit
Privacy Policy