Page 13 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
In the end of 1946 they sent a crew over. And the captain didn't have the papers to allow him to sail the ship back to Canada. So the Founda? tion Company were stuck. But they'd paid a big rent for the ship, and they had the crew there and were paying them, and they had no cap? tain. So they called me up and asked me if I'd possibly think of bringing the ship over for them. "Damn," I said, "I'm in the Navy, and I've already been appointed in command of another ship." He said, "Look, we're very good friends with the Navy. And we've just paid them an awful lot of mon? ey for that (ship)." He said. "If we spoke to them nicely, would you be willing to go yourself?" I said, "You call me back tomorrow and I'll let you know." I had to think things over. 'Cause I had another offer of a job, too, to go out to the China coast in command of a ci? vilian ship. Canada--I'd only been here once before. I kind of liked Canada. So I made up my mind. When he called back, I said, "Okay." So I went down to London and went through all the red tape, and resigned my commission. And came back, and the next day I was sailing away down the Clyde, in charge of the Foundation Josephine. (Why was she named Josephine?) Because the president's wife's name was Josephine.... On the way back, we got round the north of Ireland. And we ran into the most filthiest weather you can get in the North Atlantic. It was really terrible. Even the Queen Eliz? abeth passed us on passage going the other way, and she was damaged herself. The Q' We were damaged, too. And we were damaged so badly, we started taking water and go? ing down by the head. And our pumps wouldn't hold the water. So I had to get a man to get the salvage pumps, the portable salvage pumps, out of the after hold, and rig them up--and that's what kept us afloat. And we hove to for several days. Then the weather eased down, and we start? ed to make our way again. But our radio transmitter had been smashed. We couldn't send out a signal of any kind. Rigging thie hoses aboard tfie Diamantis. Capt. Cowlev: "Well, she left North Sydney loaded with coal. And the coal went on fire (July 24,1948). So, she went into Douglas? town, which is in Gasp6 Bay. And by that time (the { ' time of the photograph, July'), we got up to her • she'd sent a signal out. So, we ar? rived alongside, and we started putting water On board. And we sunk it right there. With the amount of water we put on board, we sunk the ship, until she was pretty well-well, she was sitting on the bottom. We got the fire out. When the fire was out, then we just put our pumps on board and pumped her out, and lifted her up again." We could still receive, but no transmitter. So I guess the Company were pretty worried. We were overdue, and they had planes out looking for us. And then, on the receiver, I had a message that there was an English tanker called the Fossularca. that was in trouble. And her rudder had been smashed in the bad weather. The same weather that we were in. And she was adrift and floating. THE TREASURE COVE GIFTS AND HANDCRAFTS High quality gifts and crafts from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and abroad 1-902-564-8158 Children's books and toys - pre-school to 12 years 1-902-539-3035 Open Mon.-Sat. 9-6, Thurs.-Fri. until 9 74 Townsend St., Sydney, N. S. Bl P 5C8 Need a Radiator? Muffler? Shocks? Brakes? Specializing in Radiator Repair & Recores Heaters Water Pumps, Etc. TWO LOCATIONS: Sydney 349 George St. - Downtown ' AND Port Hawkesbury Maclnnes Road at Specializing in Mufflers Brakes MASTER MUFFLER Iprlngl l'lIjlMjl Sydney: 562-2300 • Port Hawkesbury: 625-3781 Port Hawkesbury Centre Sydney: 539-6691 • Port Hawkesbury: 625-3781 13
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