Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 73 > Page 102 - From Visits with Capt. Michael Tobin Coastal & Gulf Ferry Captain, Ret'd

Page 102 - From Visits with Capt. Michael Tobin Coastal & Gulf Ferry Captain, Ret'd

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1998/6/1 (166 reads)

The Viking in the ice floes on her last cruise. "Literally on the brink of death, clinging to our little ice floe, with part of the wrecked stern of the Viking, just before we were rescued by the Sagona." • Clayton King had to get up on one of those small icebergs and cut the top off it, and haul it aboard on slides, and melt it in the steam--steam in the tanks. (Water) to get back with. We brought in--I don't know, it was four? teen or fifteen, I think.... We left Pat? rick's Day. It was over a week before we got back. (In St. John's, how did they get word about the Viking?) Personally, I knew the wire? less operator on the island. He belonged to Belleoram on the south coast--I knew him. Nightingale Nursing Services {21 24 hours; 7 days a week service {2 R.N.'s - L.P.N.'s ex ' Homemakers & babysitters '"- {21 Care provided in home or hospital {21 Bonded & insured {21 Reasonable rates FULL TIME R.N. NURSING SUPERVISION Local People Professionally 465-9777 'T,"''r:'T=t 562-6274 DARTMOUTH FAX: 469-9250 SYDNEY SERVING ALL CAPE BRETON SLAND He sent out the SOS. They were coming from church that evening, and they saw the flares--they thought it was a ship afire. But the next morning they saw the people walked ashore. They told them she blew up. He sent the SOS from the island. So we were ordered, on the Sagona, to get ready. We brought out three doctors and two nurses then. If we didn't find them before it got dark, Clayton King would be dead, because he was sixty hours lying on the ice then. His hair burnt off his head, and a piece of wood in his eye, and the legs where the bone was sticking out through the legs where it was broken off.... But (he) was sunk down--oh, he was down two or three feet in the ice. He was sixty hours on the pan. The heat of his body melted the ice, and blood in the pool as well. He was unconscious. He lost his le'gs. He lost the two legs above the knees and every bit of hair was burnt off his head. And his mother and father--I was there when his mother and father came aboard--and they didn't know him, in St. John's after we got back. And he lived to be a businessman in St. John's. And drove a car. Two artificial legs. He was the wireless operator (on the Viking). Serving homes and businesses throughout Cape Breton Island PROUD TO BE A LONGTIME SUPPORTER Congratulations on 25 Years of Unique Publishing Distributing the White ''''''m ''mm''''' '''' ,'''' Maple Leaf Products of SYDEOi' ENERGY FUELS 'r FURNACE OIL • STOVE OIL • DIESEL • GAS • LUBRICANTS There were a couple of Americans who were making a movie--"White Thunder." One of them was never found again. We brought in one fellow. His sister came down on one of the passenger boats run? ning to New York. She was there when we landed, to meet him. His fingers were all gone--the tops of his fingers, where he was clawing on the ice. And a lot of them were lost. We searched for bodies but we had a snowfall that night. We walked miles looking for bodies. And we found do? ries- -(they) pulled the dories and the bottom come out of them, and then they left them. I don't know if they were covered up in the snow--we had snow that night. If there were dead bodies there, we couldn't find them. So the only ones we got, really, were the ones that walked ashore--were able to walk to the islands. (Did any of those fellows ever go sail? ing again?) Oh, I imagine, I imagine. I know some of them did.... But you know.
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