Page 50 - Wreck of the Dochas & the Etta Stewart
ISSUE : Issue 66
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/6/1
wind suddenly hauled to south, and blew a complete hurricane which raised up a cross sea, and caused the CarrolHo toss wildly. The wind still kept canting to southwest and west during the remainder of the night with unabated force. It rained all night intermittently, with a dense blackness all around which prevented seeing any distance. Frequently spoke to my mate during the night about the Dorcas and her tow, thinking that if they did not harbor at Jeddore the probability was that the gale had driven them on shore. Only theory I have is that Dorcas hung to the Etta Stewart until both became doomed. I knew Captain Ferguson, of the Dorcas, personally, and knew him to be a good mariner, and well acquainted with our coast. Always heard of him as a cautious man. Arthur Haines testified that: Have been master of wrecked barge Etta Stewart frequently. Sailed in her last on August 6th. Was in Sydney when she sailed thence on her fatal voyage about 19th of August. I was to have taken charge of the Etta Stewart on that voyage and relieved Captain Spencer who lost his life with the barge at Three Fathom Harbour. As the vessel was detained at Sydney, Captain Spencer was enabled to execute his business and get away with the Etta Stewart. I therefore remained behind. Knew Captain Ferguson. He was a skillful and prudent man with whom no one disagreed. On Saturday, September 18th Inquiry commissioner Captain Smith was compelled to postpone his pending decision. The Specializing in Spot Repair SYDNEY'S COMPLETE COLLISION REPAIR CENTRE 539-2848 • 539-1033 61 BEECH • SYDNEY BIP 6R7 Since 1914 H. H. Marshall Limited Corporate Head Office Halifax, N. S. 3731 Macintosh Street (t- B3K 5N5 L • WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS ] OF PERIODICALS & BOOKS" J H. H. MARSHALL Founder and First President (1884-1923) H. H. MARSHALL LIMITED TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND THE MANY PEOPLE WE SERVE. IT HAS GIVEN US OUR VALUED HERITAGE AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO AN EXCITING FUTURE. BRANCH OFFICES CHARLOTTETOWN ST. JOHN'S SYDNEY H. H. IVIarshall LIIVIITED 103 York Street, Sydney (539-3220) DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOMED propeller had been found, supposedly with wire and rope wound round it. The new discovery has led some to believe that the loss of the steamer Dorcas was due to the propeller becom? ing disabled by the action of the wire and rope. A piece of stout rope was wound tightly round the broken blades and possibly around the boss. If true, it could suggest that the Dorcas had cut free of her tow. Diver Gilkie, however, was positive that the rope was not round the boss iDut had been washed over the pro? peller in the strong seas that prevailed for days. Captain Smith delivered his decision yesterday on Thursday, August 28th, 1893. He concluded: That the master of the Dorcas, having been detained at Sydney by a severe gale of wind, on the 18th of August was no doubt led to the belief that it was the annual August gale then blowing and his tele? gram to the owners that he would remain in port until the gale abated appears to point to the fact that he was a prudent and cautious sea? man. As a result of this gale having passed over Sydney, Capt. Fer? guson was no doubt inspired with confidence in the weather when starting upon his trip the following day. In this melancholy catastrophe, the crews of both the wrecked vessels having perished by being drowned, the commissioner is compelled to obtain information in connection with the casualty from other sources. After taking his departure from Sydney, with the Etta Stewart in tow, he called at Louisbourg, which port he left at 9 o'clock on Sunday morning, the 20th of August. At 4:30 P.M. of Monday, the 21st, the two vessels were sighted by the officers of the U.S.S. Carroll, that steamer being at the time about five miles E.S.E. magnetic from Egg Island, and the other a little to the north of that position. ...The Dorcas was observed to be under steam and sail and the barge had all her fore and aft canvas set. The master of the Carroll had no apprehension that they were at all in danger, as he had seen the Dor? cas in pretty rough weather several times before, with her barges in tow, and knew she was a good strong sea boat...When seen by the Carroll, the Dorcas with her tow had passed all the principal harbours on the eastern coast where shelter could have been obtained. With reference to the movement of the barometer at Halifax after noon of the 21st and the following morning, it may be inferred that no indication of an approaching cyclone or gale could have been indicat? ed by the barometer on board the Dorcas, up to the time of reaching Egg Island, otherwise Captain Ferguson would probably have gone into some safe place and secured anchorage for the night, when op? portunity occurred which appears to have been his usual custom. About the time the vessels passed that island no doubt the wind and sea had sensibly increased, but heavy rain and thick weather came on soon after, according to the evidence of the lighthouse keeper at the station, who, however, did not see either these two vessels or the 'ianning afuadcan offcT peace of mind. We encourage you to consider funeral prearrangement and invite you to call or send for our free prearrangement guide. T. W. Cuny Parkview Chapel Leo J. Curry, Bill Curry Funeral Directors Phone 539-3002 755 George Street, Sydney, Nova Scotia Four generations of service
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