Aliquippa, PA Steamer ALIQUIPPA Sinking, Aug 1928

Steamer Aliquippa


Vesta Coal Co. Craft Goes Down Near Plant For Which It Is Named, Below Pittsburgh - Seek Members of Crew


Boat Believed To Have Struck Snag While Maneuvering With Big Tow of Coal from California Mine, Early This Morning

Divers searching for bodies of 3 persons missing when the towboat Aliquippa overturned in 18 feet of water in the Ohio river at Aliquippa, Pa., early today, recovered the body of CHRISTINA DENLOCK, 19, a chambermaid, shortly before noon. Advices did not state where the body was found, but it was presumed it was recovered from her room inside the overturned craft.

A diver searching the hill of the boat came upon the body of JAMES GORDON, 39, Denbo, Pa., a deck hand this afternoon, making the second body recovered. WILLIAM ATKINS' body was found later.

The steamboat Aliquippa overturned early this morning while maneuvering in the Ohio river. Three of the 23 persons aboard the river craft are believed missing while 20 were rescued or swam ashore.

The persons believed missing are:
Christina Denlock, chambermaid on the boat.
William Atkins, watchman.
Unidentified deckhand.

The Aliquippa, which was a steel towing steamer was maneuvering in mid-stream preparatory to picking up a tow of barges loaded with 6,000 tons of steel at the time of the accident.

A pipe break which flooded the forward compartment is believed by officers of the Aliquippa to have been the cause of the upset.

The accident occurred opposite the Aliquippa plant of the Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. The steamer was one of the steel company's fleet of tow steamers.

Panic reigned as the boat careened sideways and turned completely over, bottom up. Many of the crew aboard the steamer were hurled into the river.

While members of the crew rushed madly for life preservers as the boat listed in the water, Captain Norman "Bucky" Jones with a few of his assistants attempted to arouse the two chambermaids. They succeeded in throwing a life preserver to one of them before the boat finally hurdled up side down.

Immediately following the upset, rescue brews made their way to the overturned steamer in an effort to locate the three missing persons. Plant employees of the Jones & Laughlin Corporation started to drag the river.

Efforts were also being made to raise the capsized vessel by boring holes through the keel to admit air.

The Aliquippa, which holds the record for steel towing from Pittsburg to Memphis is 164 feet long with a beam of 32 feet.

The Charleroi Mail, Charleroi, PA 30 Aug 1928