Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 67 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Page 67 - Billy James MacNamara of Evanston

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (208 reads)

never thought of them. I ran down in the forecastle. And I had a suitcase. I was trying to get my money out of it. I had $150 in my suitcase. I didn't care for the suitcase. And I had a brand new suit of clothes into it. And I tried to get the money.... I took the keys out of my pock? ets- -she gave a lurch. She must have gone down about that far. Gave a lurch--she was sinking. And I saw a lifebelt. The first one I grabbed--it was rotten, I tore a piece off it. The next one I saw was white, it was okay. I got it on my shoulders. And I just made it through the forecastle door. Just broke through it. Another inch and I'd have been pinned in. And I waded across the deck to here. (Oh, the water was up to your chest!) Oh, right up to here, when I jumped through the forecastle door. She was going down all the time. But I got across. I got the lifebelt onto me, and got across to the stern, where the lifeboat was. And they had her out. They had her out and they were letting her go. Well, we had no chance to get out. Five or six of us had no chance at all, we had to go down with her. She plunged. We jumped overboard and swum. And the lifeboat--well, there were enough in her anyhow. She'd have sunk anyhow if they put any more in her. They had 12 or 14 in her. And they couldn't row her. They had her jammed up so much they couldn't row. And she was going in the fog. So anyhow, I swum up to the --the first thing I looked, we saw a lifeboat coming from the Ozark. Two life? boats coming. They were say? ing, "Hold on, hold on!" But there was one fellow, a fel? low that was on the deck with me. When she went down --I was out in the water when she went down--I could see her when she plunged. He was still aboard. He was on the stern. And instead of going down this way--what a lot of vessels will (do), with the weight of the en? gine and everything--she plunged. As far as I could see, she plunged headfirst. And the smoke--she was coal smoke, then we used--had coal that time. That smoke going up and that steam. And he was on her, and he went down with her. He told me he must have gone down 30 feet, he didn't know. Well, he must have, because the suc? tion of her left a big hole according as she went down. Anyhow, they hauled us in, took us aboard the Ozark. (But your friend now, who went down the 30 feet--he came back up?) He came back up again to the surface, yeah. And he kept swimming. He had a lifebelt on and he kept swimming, swimming, till a boat from the Ozark picked him up. (What about the 12 men in the lifeboat that went off in the fog?) Yeah, they towed them aboard the Ozark. They had them nearly all aboard. There was one fellow missing, the wireless operator. He was still out in the fog. They heard him calling. They went out and they found him. And he was hanging onto a--aboard those trolleys to hold your fish, when you dump the fish out of the (seine) bag. You place boards crisscross like that in squares-- they call them checkerboards--on deck, for to hold your fish, for to clean your fish. There was a checkerboard came down right across him, floating off of the trawler. And he held on that. And there he was hold? ing on that, going this way and that way People In The Same Boat Help One Another In our multiracial and ethnic origin, national origin, multicultural province women physical or mental disability, and men of all ages and sex, marital status, age and abilities can build a society of source of income. But the best peace and prosperity protection against together. discrimination is YOU. Your The Nova Scotia Human attitude and behaviour are Rights Act prohibits the best guarantees that discrimination on the basis of equal opportunity is indeed race, religion, colour, creed, for all of us. HEAD OFFICE REGIONAL OFFICES P.O. Box 2221 Basin Place Provincial 176 Archimedes St. Halifax, N.S. 68 Water St. BIdg. P.O. Box 728 B3J3C4 P.O. Box 1029 Prince St. New Glasgow. N.S. 424-4111 Digby, N.S. Sydney, N.S. B2H 2P8 or 424-7690 BOY lAO BIP 5L1 752-3075 245-4791 563-2140 >c Human Rights Commission Honourable Thomas J. Mclnnis Minister 67
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