Toronto, ON Steamship ALGOMA Wreck, Nov 1885




TORONTO, Ontario, Nov. 23.----The Commissioners appointed by the Dominion Government to investigate the cause of the wreck of the steamship Algoma in Lake Superior this month returned to Toronto to-day and reported on the official investigation which they had made. Some thrilling particulars of the disaster not previously related are told by them. When the streamer struck, Hastings, one of the mates was sent by the Captain to arouse the sleeping passengers. He took off his boots, expecting that any moment he might have to leap into the water. Then he began his task, walking from stateroom to stateroom in his stocking feet. Suddenly a heavy sea swept over the vessel, smashing the glass in the saloon windows and scattering it about the floor. At the same moment the lights were extinguished and the mate was left to grope his way about in the darkness. Fragments of glass pierced his unprotected feet, and at last he was obliged to encase them in leather pillows in order to make his rounds. Many of those who perished were thrown high and dry on the rocks, and could have escaped if they had had strength left to rise and get out of danger. But while they lay there exhausted other waves swept up and wash them back into the lake, so that only two escaped. Capt. Moor, of the Algoma, is not yet sufficiently recovered to be examined, the terrible experience which he had on the wreck having had the effect of nearly driving him crazy.

The New York Times, New York, NY 24 Nov 1885



TORONTO, Ontario, Jan. 15.---The Marine Court appointed by the Government to investigate the case of the wreck of the Canadian Pacific steamship Algoma on Nov. 5 last at Isle Royale, Lake Superior, by which 45 lives were lost, made its decision to-day. The plea of Capt. Moore, who commanded the vessel and who has navigated the lakes since he was 14 years old, was that he estimated by the average running of the vessel the time required to reach the passage to Port Arthur, at Isle Royale, and that in the run to Isle Royale from Whitefish Point, a distance of 120 miles, she overran her pervious record by eight miles, and he found his vessel ashore in a dense fog, when he supposed that the nearest land was eight miles ahead. The court held that he should not have depended on such a calculation, but should have used his log and lead, by which he might easily have determined the position of the vessel, and so averted the catastrophe. The court found that the disaster was caused by the steamship overrunning her estimated distance through the neglect of her head officers. Capt. Moore's certificate was suspended for 12 months, and that of Hastings, who was the first officer, for six months. After the court delivered its sentences a telegram from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, at Ottawa, stated that Moore's suspension was reduced by three months on account of his good record.

The New York Times, New York, NY 16 Jan 1886