Sault St Marie, MI Steamer WISSAHICKON Wreck, Dec 1909


Tug General Reaches Soo With Officers and Sailors of Wrecked Steamer Wissahickon---Four Days and Five Nights in Peril. Cared for By Fishermen--- Men Leave for Buffalo---Capt. Miller and Engineer Return to Boat.

(News Tribune Special.)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich., Dec. 19.---The tug General arrived at the Soo at 8:30 this morning, having on board, safe and well the crew of the wrecked Anchor Liner, Wissahickon. Some difficulty was experienced in getting to the vessel, which delayed the return here till this time. When the tug General left Detour the captain's orders were to take no chances. As the weather was very uncertain and snowing most of the time, Capt. Nelson went around Cockburn island, where he could get shelter, if necessary, rather than take a direct courses to the Duck islands. When he got behind Cockburn island he made arrangements with a fishing tug, which was of lesser draught than the General, to go over and get the crew. This took another day and it was not until Saturday morning that they were all on board the tug.

Unable to Keep a Course.

The Wissahickon went on 11:30 o'clock Sunday night, Dec. 12, in a blinding snowstorm. All day Sunday they had been fighting their way along in the gale, tacking back and forth with the sea, not being able to keep a course. Capt. Miller says:

"When we left Fort Gratiot, easterly gale signals were up and I headed the ship up the center of the lake in order to keep off the shore. How we came to be so far out of our course, I do not know. We had been going along under check since 10 o'clock that morning. When we struck the waves threw us upon the reef so that we landed as she lays now, in about 11 feet of water forward and about 13 aft.

"We blew distress signals all during the night, but there was no chance of any one hearing them in the gale. The waves were mountains high, breaking over boat all day Monday and Monday night. The gale continued with no signs of any one finding us out. Tuesday and Tuesday night passed with the same result. On Wednesday it was calmer and three men came out from Duck Island in a gasoline launch. In this boat the first mate and second engineer got to Manitoulen Island and sent a request for assistance and then returned to the vessel." They anxiously waited the tug that would take them off.