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Sydney, NS Father and 2 Sons Swept Overboard, Jun 1935


Robert R. Ames of Boston,
Hamrah Skipper and Owner,
Swept Overboard


Younger Gets Brother in Boat
but Craft Capsizes — Yacht
Reaches Sydney, N. S.

SYDNEY, N. S., July 1 —Tragedy
in an ocean yacht race was revealed
today when the ketch Hamrah of
Boston anchored here and her exhausted
crew reported the loss of
her owner and skipper, Robert R.
Ames, a Boston real estate man,
and his two sons, Richard G. and
Henry R. Ames, who perished in
trying to save him. All were prominent
socially and as yachtsmen in
Mr. Ames was washed overboard
in a storm 1,600 miles at sea, the
survivors of the crew, Sheldon
Ware and Roger Weed of Milton,
Mass., and Charles Foster Tillinghast
Jr. of Providence, R. I., related.
After the catastrophe they
put a jury rig on the damaged
yacht and made their way to this
On June 8, the Hamrah, accompanied
by the yachts Vamarle,
Stormy Weather, Mistress, Stoertebeker,
Vagabond and Sandejord,
put out from Newport on a race
across the Atlantic to Bergen, Norway.
"The first day out, we kept in
sight of the Mistress until dark,"
Mr. Weed said in telling the story
of their misfortune. Following
which, we did not sight any of the
other vessels. About mid-Atlantic,
the barometer commenced to drop
and slid down to 28.92, and we
appeared to be in the centre of a
miniature hurricane. It was estimated
that the wind was blowing
forty-five miles an hour and a tremendous
sea was being kicked up.
"On June 19, as we threshed and
wallowed east through mountainous
waves, with everything double
reefed, a huge sea boiled aboard,
and Captain Ames was washed
"We jibed and put back, passing
within about fifteen yards of our
skipper, who did not appear to be
swimming. His son, Richard, grabbing
a line, jumped into the boiling
sea, but as the line was too short
he let it go, and swam in the direction
of his father. We stood back
and jibed. Our boom broke and
the sail dragged in the water.
Second Son Goes to Rescue.
"Richard attempted to jump into
the sea and go to the rescue of his
father and brother, but we persuaded
him to make the effort in
the boat, which he did. He put off
and hauled his brother on board,
but we could not make out if he
succeeded in reaching the captain.
"The boys attempted to turn the
boat, which was bobbing about on
the mountainous seas, but the frail
craft capsized and both were
thrown into the water. That was
the last we saw of them.
"Presently, the mizzen went out
of commission and as we stood back
again we passed fairly close to the
upturned boat but too far away to
be of any assistance. In her disabled
condition we could not get
the Hamrah to windward.

July 2, 1935 edition of The New York Times

article | by Dr. Radut