Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Rochester Daily Union (Rochester, NY), Wed., Sept. 24, 1856
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Perilous Shipwreck on Lake Ontario - Loss of the Steamer Corra Linn. - We noticed yesterday the loss of the small steamer Corra Linn near Kingston in the gale of Thursday night last. The particulars come to us in the Kingston News. Some seventy passengers were in great jeopardy during a whole night and their escape may be deemed miraculous. This steamer has run for several years between Kingston and Belleville, and until last season was known as the Novelty. The News thus describes the disaster:

In the rain and wind storm of Thursday night between the hours of seven and eight, the Corra Linn steamer went ashore on Salmon Island shoal, about two miles from the main shore, and between five and six miles from this city. There were on board sixty or seventy persons in all, who were for hours in the greatest jeopardy from the vessel going to pieces, and as every swell which struck her lifted her and let her down on the ledge of rocks with tremendous violence.

The scene on board is described as distressing in the extreme; the female portion of the passengers and children manifested their alarm by wailing, crying and praying in the most agonizing manner, while the male passengers and crew exerted themselves with alacrity to provide means of safety in case the vessel went to pieces, which was most imminent. A few musket shots were fired, and colored lamps exhibited as signals of distress, and shortly after the steamer City of Hamilton went to the rescue, and sent a large yawl, duly manned, which no sooner reached the Linn than it filled, but the hands were fortunately rescued.

After being pounded on the rocks for about two hours, the Linn was at least fairly lifted over the ledge, and snugly settled in a bed of gravel, and where the heavy dashing surge could not reach her. The darkness was so extreme, that the island lying ahead only four rods, was not seen for some time, but when discovered so near, afforded comfort to the affrighted passengers, as being a convenient place of refuge in case of emergency. The steamer Lady Elgin, in the morning, went out to proffer aid, but the wind being still very violent, and the sea running high, no help could be afforded. Mr. Hamilton sent out the steamer Passport, provided with large jolly-boats which would live through the surge, and which eventually succeeded in taking off all the passengers in safety.

The Corra Linn is owned by Messrs. A. & D. Shaw one of whom was on board at the time of the casualty, and who is confident that had not the vessel been providentially heaved into her present position, she must inevitably have been dashed to pieces in another hour. She has made considerable water, and is considered in a very precarious state, from the fact that she is in the midst of a series of rocks, rendering the approach of large craft impracticable.

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Wed., Sept. 24, 1856
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Richard Palmer
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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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Rochester Daily Union (Rochester, NY), Wed., Sept. 24, 1856