Page 6 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
So, after fooling around in Falmouth for a long time, learning a bit about tug work.... Then the fall of France came. -what would you (You say "learning a bit be learning?) How to handle a tug. You know, with the tugs that were in port there--I didn't go to sea on them, but I learned how to handle them, and a lot of the things necessary to know about a tugboat. (Like what?) Well, how you send out a towline. How you connect up with a ship. And how you handle them to dock them and back them and forward and all this. It takes a little bit of practice and learning to know all that, before you're confident of what you're doing. So anyhow, during this time, of course, we were being bombed. Falmouth had quite a few hits, and one of the tugs was badly damaged. Then came the fall of France. And all the people coming across from France. And they put me on board a small boat to go across to France and bring back people all along the coast. So anyhow, after about three months they appointed me to be the Number 1 of a deep- The Thackerv. stranded December 1946; salvaged in May 1947: "She was loaded with coal. Had to employ all the village (of Lumsden, Newfoundland) to come on board and get rid of the coal, i was going to get them to throw it over the sides, but they wanted to take it home. So I said, 'Okay,' I said, 'if you want to do it, you work day and night and you can take it home, but you woni get paki for it.' So they got their coal instead. And when it was all over and I got the ship off, they gave a big par? ty for me and the crew on the ship. And when the parly was over, they presented me with a nice little Labrador puppy, and a case of deer meat and a case of bakeapples, canned bakeapples." McCallum's Ceramic Tile & Flooring Ltd Showroom • K-Mart Plaza Welton Street, Sydney "Professional Installation" Ceramic Tile • Quarry Tile Carpet & Vinyl Flooring Ceramic Counter Tops 562-1291 sea tug leaving Milford Haven. And I went down there and joined this ship. The cap? tain was a nice old fellow--I even remem? ber his name--Capt. Strouser. He must have been about 58 or 59 years old. But a very nice guy, and I got along with him very well. So, I served on that ship--as Number l--for about 9 months. And we never stopped. We were going the whole time, rescuing ships and people. It would be noth? ing to come in with a hundred survivors on board. They'd eat all your food--you wouldn't have enough food to feed them all! You know, sometimes it'd take 2 or 3 weeks if you were towing a ship in, to fight the waves and bring the ship into port. Sometimes instead of going ahead you'd be going astern, if the wind was against you. After 9 months, this Capt. Strouser, he said, "I've got to quit. I can't take it any more. It's too hard on me." And when we got back to port, here's a signal come, they'd made me the captain! He'd put in a good word for me, Strouser had. So I got promoted to Lieutenant. Then I had to take the ship (the Salvo- nia). Now, after working out of the north coast of Scotland with the Salvonia. in 1941 I got sent up to Iceland, as Duty Rescue Tug in Iceland And, while we were up there, we captured the only German submarine that was taken intact up to that point of the war. She was about 200 miles south of Iceland. And a Canadian aircraft found the submarine on the surface--she'd had a bit of engine trouble or something-- she was on the surface getting fixed. And Real Estate & Insurance "If you're thinking of selling your home, give us a call." Serving Industrial Cape Breton and North Victoria R. Hickey & Co. p. O. Box 96, North Sydney B2A 3M1 Gerald Brennan, Mgr. Residence: 794-4564 "And remember: No sale, no charge." 794-3119 40 YEARS OF SERVICE TO CAPE BRETON ?tfe Cliilhrcn'B Aii 0orietfl of (Bupt Breton '' "A UNITED WAV SERVICE AGENCY" INTAKE HOMESTUDIE'' PROTECTION FOSTER HOMES ADOPTION problem identification; referral support services; crisis intervention all ages, in permanent homes CHILDREN IN CARE I Suite 7, Provincial Building, 360 Prince Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia BIP 5L1 (562-5506) I SINGLE MOTHERS counselling; support I THE COMMUNITY'S RESPONSffilLITY IS TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN I counselling; support
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