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Page 80 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1 (363 reads)

years went by and the ships were looked after properly, it got less and less. So, in the latter years--although the Josephine, she normally was a pretty busy ship all the time--but a lot of tug companies, they did suffer from a lack of business. (With Sydney and St. John's as your base, how far would you travel, if they told you there was a ship in trouble?) An un? limited number of miles. Which could be 2 to 3 thousand. It was nothing to pick one off the other side of the Azores, which was approximately--around about 2000. (You would go, sometimes, 2000 miles. And there's no guarantee the ship would be there.) No, no guarantee, no. The odd time we would. Of course, that's not recorded in the book, because there was nothing to record. But we were called out and went to a ship. And probably you were within a couple of hundred miles of it. And you suddenly got a signal to say that she had been fixed up and she was on her way. In which, you had no recourse for any payment at all, see. See, that's what I was telling you about, that the award-- salvage awards--had to be big enough to cover all that kind of stuff. Because, it was up to the insurance companies to make it worthwhile for salvage companies to ex? ist. Because, at times, the salvage compa? nies saved them millions of dollars, eh? '..- . ''.'... ' l''pi I've actually gone looking for a vessel that's sent out an S 0 S in trouble, and by the time I got to the spot where she was, she's in port! (Or sunk?) Sunk? Not in peacetime. Not in peacetime, no. In wartime, yes. Yes, in wartime I've often gone out looking for ships, and they send out their position and everything. And by the time you get out there, all you find is a lot of cargo floating around, and all the stuff that's fallen off the ship. Mind you, we were lucky--we used to save a lot of lives by doing that. We'd find life? boats with men on board. (You quit in 1954.) And then I got the nice job at the base here! (Ppint Edward Naval Base--site of the present Canadian WE ARE THE f JOf' • CP TURNING A DREAM INTO REALITY With 3 locations to serve you tRAEMAR Kitchens SYDNEY, N. 8. Bl P 584 NEW GLASGOW, N. 8. B2H 5E7 Tel. 902-539-5044 Tel. 902-755-2455 And through B & J BUYRIGHT, ANTIGONISH, N. S. B2G 2G9 • Tel. 902-863-6444 Coast Guard College.) Nice soft job. (Captain Cowlev laughs.) And then, of course, I was married, and I had a family with 5 young kids, too. I wasn't at all sorry to get a job where I could be ashore. Capt. John Cowley died April 26,1990. For more about the work of the Foundation Maritime Company salvage tugs, see two books by Farley Mowat: The Serpent's Coil and The Grev Seas Under. Trjb!jiAAgenaf We plan it all for you. 794-7251 158 QUEEN ST., NORTH SYDNEY
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