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> Issue 74 > Page 49 - The Sinking of the Patrick Morris - One Sailor's Day

Page 49 - The Sinking of the Patrick Morris - One Sailor's Day

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1999/6/1 (353 reads)

lungs," he said, "I think the Bunker C • he smothered in that, I think." Far as they know now. They had to clean him all up.... We were lucky in one way, that we never had any passengers aboard. If you got pas? sengers you've got to look after them. They' re not worrying about you. You make sure the passengers are all right.... When I left (home that night)--I wasn't living here then, I was living on Margaret Street • I left home and I said to the wife, "You may never see me again." And that's the words I said when I left the door. I'd say I was fifteen minutes wait? ing for the taxi to come for me. I said, "You may never see me again." It was a wicked night. And she said, you know, "Don't talk like that." I just went on. But if you knew all this stuff was going to happen, well, naturally you wouldh't go. You don't know this stuff. Bad (night). Just tossing back and forth all night. And nothing you could do be? cause it was dark. But you had all your lights on, searching for bodies, you know. But she was a bad night. We were used to rough weather. Everybody was happy, having a little chat and a smoke. That's the first time in all the years I was sailing, that I took my wallet out of my pocket and put it under my pillow. Why, I don't know. I only had fifteen dollars in it, but why did I do it? I don't know. But I wasn't worrying about any wallet. All I was wor? rying about was that lifejacket.... You had to be in it yourself to know what it's like. People say it was a bad day, yeah. We were used to rough weather. But lots of nights we sailed from here at a time when the ship should have been tied up instead of going out. I mean, we're not the boss. We've got bosses over the other bosses and they tell you when to go. That's it, you go. It was a good experience for me. I got a little boat of my own, a little twelve- footer that I go fishing in. But I had no fear in it. But after this happened they put me on the Leif Eiriksson, and I didn't know what the ship was like, you know. I was down working in her bedrooms, and I was sitting in a chair, a little small place, all the work was done. The wind was northeast and we were going to Newfound? land. She must have come out of the water, 'cause when she came down she made a big pound like. There was two big flights of stairs going up to the promenade deck, and I know there's steps I didn't touch. It gave me that much of a scare. I said, "I'm not into another one!" So when I got up, I met the electrician and he said, "Did you see a ghost or what?" I said no, but I said, "There's nothing wrong with this boat, is there?" He said, "Where were you at?" I said, "Right down in the bottom of her there, sitting on a chair. She took me right off the chair." "Oh," he said, "she's like that." But I didn't know what the ship was like, you know. I wouldn't go back (down there) no more that day. nie laughs.) No way. {Con- Don Nugent interviewed and photographed Connie Drake for Cape Breton's Magazine. Our thanks to Jim Buffett, North Syd? ney, for his help in locating Connie Drake. Photo of the Patrick Morris courtesy Marine Atlantic. Eight people were lost on the Enterprise. The German ore carrier Rhine Ore picked up the 47 survivors of the Patrick Morris. The men who died from that ship were Captain Roland Penney, Chief Engineer David Reekie, Second Engineer Joseph Slayman, and Third Engineer Ronald Anderson. 83' Annual Cape Breton Exhibition Horth Sydney, Nova Scotia AUGUST 16 to 21 '' ( The Island's Largest 'm [' Resource Industries Showcase j "' Agriculture • Fisheries • Forestry EXHIBITS iBitC Lt'nch Tlidwa' LIGHT AND HEAVY HORSE SHOW • CATTLE SHOW Gymkhana Events • Petting Farm f COMMERCIAL EXHIBITS • Live Entertainment Daily P SPECIAL EVENTS... INCLUDING Magic Shows and Tiie Comedy Cor
Cape Breton's Magazine
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