Page 55 - Louisbourg Fishermen Rescue U.S. Seamen, 1942
ISSUE : Issue 41
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/1/1
'''%'''*"- possible to chip successfully. All hands were wet through and physically exhausted." Visibility at sunrise was estimated at 500 yards, the sea at force 8 and the wind a- bout 50 miles an hour. At 0900 the ice was beyond control, and by this time the deci? sion V7as made to beach the ship. At 1100 general visibility had closed to 300 yards, but at 1122 through a brief lift in the storm, a single church was observed. (It was St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church, a Louisbourg landmark since 1885.) A few min? utes later another quick view was had of several freighters and some rocks in what appeared to be a harbour." At 1126 the ship took a 50 degree list to port due to heavy ice formation and the fact that the sea that had previously held the vessel on a reasonably even keel had subsided, the ves? sel now being protected by the beach. The captain tried several courses to clear the rocks, but the ship, now a floating ice? berg (she was covered from bow to stem with about 55 tons of ice, according to Yeoman Peter Federspiel in later testi? mony) would not respond to any rudder. At 1131 the S.C. 709 struck the reef in the harbour approach to Louisbourg. All hands were ordered to top side with life jackets. Visibility was still very poor, but the Pi? lot Station at Louisbourg had noted the ice-coated vessel and alerted the Canadian ssioning of • '' S.C. 709 '"""Elizabeth City Shipyard 16 Novei'ibpr 1942 Navy. Hyacinth Pottie, coxwain of the navy harbour craft, was among the personnel who attempted to reach the ship. "We could see them clinging to the deck," he recalled, "but we couldn't reach them with the high seas. We couldn't even get a line on her." The U460 Grand Lake Rd., Sydney 562-0088 or 539-2825
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