Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Wreck of Monkshaven
Evening News (Sault Sainte Marie, MI), 5 Dec 1905
Full Text
Wreck of Monkshaven
Story of dangers hardships and hunger told by crew
Had nothing to eat between Monday night and Thursday morning.
The Paliki was in trouble

Members of the crew of the Algoma Central steamer Monkshaven, which was stranded on Angus island near the entrance to Thunder Bay last week have an interesting story to tell of their experiences on that occasion. The events of the trip were such as they will never forget. All the terrors incident to a battle with wind and water and shipwreck on a desert island stared them in the face and they are truly thankful that they came through them safely.

Isaac Woolner, who was captain on the Minnie M. during the passenger season and who went on the Monkshaven in the capacity of second mate for the balance of the year, gave a reporter of the Evening News an interview yesterday afternoon at the Algoma Hotel, where he is recuperating from a number of injuries and bruises received during the course of the events of which he tells. This is his story of the wreck of the Monkshaven:

“The Monkshaven struck Angus island and at 5:25 Tuesday morning, the rocks on the shore were shelving so that her bow went up on them so far that a ladder could be put out. The crew feared she might slide off and doing so sink and so hurried off as fast as possible. A ladder was put over the bow and in five minutes from the time the boat struck all were on shore. The wreck was not a result of Captain Peter McIntyre losing his bearings. It was because the boat could not fight the wind and the waves. A strong wind was blowing from the northeast being thus astern of the boat. When an attempt was made to turn to get into Thunder Bay it was found impossible. The boat was light and she got into the trough of the sea and she could not turn either way nor back up, before striking Angus island, she narrowly escaped missing running onto a ledge of rocks which had it been struck would have caused the boat to sink so that not a life could have been saved.

After landing the crew found a deserted fisherman’s shack where a shelter was made by putting evergreen boughs around. In their hurry to get ashore they took no food with them and it was not long before hunger began to make itself known. Then an attempt was made to get onto the boat which remained lodged on the rocks, though it slipped back fifteen feet. The heavy sea made that impossible and everyone who attempted ti was thrown violently back onto the shore by the force of the waves. When an attempt to get on board the Monkshaven was finally successful. Thursday morning, it took four hours to lower a life boat. Wednesday night the shack in which the crew had taken shelter took fire and burned. It afterward developed that the blaze was the means of saving the steel steamer Stanton, which would have run on the same island had the light not given her timely warning.

From Monday night until Thursday morning the crew was without food and suffering all the time from cold. Only a meager amount of clothing was taken ashore and most of it got wet. After the lifeboat was lowered Thursday some of the crew went out and met the steamer Sylvania, which towed them into Fort William. Friday morning the tug Whalen went out and took the crew into port. Nearly all of the crew was now carrying bruises and marks of evidence of the hard time they had. Mate Albinson had his ears frozen and one of the deck hands had a foot frozen.

Item Type
Date of Publication
5 Dec 1905
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 48.235277 Longitude: -89.008611
Randy Johnson
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Wreck of Monkshaven