Georgian Bay, ON Steamer ASIA Disaster, Sep 1882

Steamer Asia 2.jpg



Collingwood, Ontario, Sept. 17. -- The following report, sent from Parry Sound by Mr. J. C. Miller, has just reached here by the hand of Capt. John Daney, of the tug Minnehaha, giving the details of the loss of the steamer Asia, of the Great Northern Transit Company's Line, which left here on Wednesday evening last for French River and Sault Ste. Marie.
Capt. H. M. McGREGOR reached here yesterday by tug from Owen Sound, and reported passing the wreckage of a steamer off the Limestone Island. He picked up and brought with him a trunk, door, and pillow slip marked "steamer Asia." About 10 o'clock this morning an Indian boat reached here from Point du Barry, about 35 miles distant, bringing MR. D. A. TINKIS, of Manitoaning, and MISS CHRISTIANA MORRISON, from near Owen Sound supposed to be the only two survivors of the ill fated steamer. MR. TINKIS makes the following statement:
"I went aboard the Asia at Owen Sound about midnight Wednesday in company with J. H. TINKIS and H. B. GALLAGHER, both of Manitowaning. The steamer was crowded, all the state rooms being full, and many of the passengers lying on sofas and on the cabin floor. All went well until about 11 o'clock on Thursday morning, when a storm struck us. I was in my berth at the time. My uncle J. H. TINKIS, jumped up and said the boat was doomed. Dishes and chairs were flying in every direction. We left the cabin and found difficulty in getting on deck, the boat was folling so heavily. I got a life preserver and put it on. The boat went into the trough of the sea and would not obey her helm . She rolled heavily for about 90 minutes, when she was struck by a heavy sea and foundered, going down, with engines working about 11:30 o'clock. The Asia was making for French River, and had on board men, horses, and lumbermen's supplies for shanties there. I saw three boats loaded. I was in the first. About eight were with me. At first more got in until the boat was overloaded and turned over twice. Parties were hanging on to my life preserver, which got displaced, and I threw it off. I then left the boat and swam to the Captain's boat, which was near by, and asked JOHN McDOUGALL, the purser to help me in. He said it was but little use, but gave me his hand. When I got in there were 18 in the boat and by that time there was a large number in and clinging to the boat I had left. I know nothing of the third boat. our boat rolled over and I remember missing McDOUGALL a few minutes afterward. People were hanging to spars and other parts of the wreck. Our boat was full of water and the sea was constantly breaking over us. One of the first to die on board was a cabin boy. He was dying and being supported by one of the men when a wave washed him overboard. The next to go was a boathand, who jumped out. I could see h im paddling around in the water for mearly 100 yards. Our number was now reduced to seven persons five of whom died before reaching the beach. CAPT. SAVAGE, who was the last to die, expiring in my arms about midnight on Thursday. MR. JOHN LITTLE, of Sault Ste. Marie; Mate McDONALD, and two others, whose names are unknown. The boat finally stranded near Point au Barrie at daylight, Friday, with MISS MORRISON and myself the only survivors. I put the bodies of the dead out on the beach, and pried the boat off with an oar, but did not bale it out. MISS MORRISON and I went down the beach in the boat to a derrick about two miles distant, and remained on the beach all night. At about 8 o'clock Saturday morning an Indian came along and I engaged him to bring us to Parry Sound. He would not bring the bodies."
The steamer Northern Belle, of the same line which reached here this morning, has been furnished with ice, &c., and has left to bring the bodies. MISS MORRISON and MR TINKIS are being well cared for here, and the Doctor thinks that neither will suffer materially from the long exposure. There were probably about 100 persons on board the Asia.

New York Times New York 1882-09-18