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A Brave Captain And A Brave Crew

A Brave Captain And A Brave Crew image
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A gentleman who has since conversed with some of the passengers on ,he ill-fated steamboat Manitoulin, and aid a visit to the scène of the disaster, ;ives the following account of this ïeart-rendiDg tragedy: The fire broke out about one o'clock ). m. Captain Campbell was sittingat linner when he heard the cry. He immediately ran out, mounted the hurricane deck, and cried OHt to the wheelsman, "Hard astarboard; hard astarxiard. Eun her for the shore." The engineer, Laugherby, on hearing this order, inimediately jumped down into tke engine-rooin, f rom which the flames were leaping with terrible Üerceness, and let on every available ounce of steam. His escape from destruction is nothing short of miraculous. They were then about two miles from the shore, with a large number of passengers, and the fire growing liereer and flercer every moment. However, in running for the shore, the steamer was headed against the wind, and as the fire was in the af ter part it mateiïally aided in keeping the flames in that quarter. When the üre broke out and the excitement was at its height several ladies and children jumped overboard and perished. The cries of excitement and general wail that went up were most pitiable to hear. On a boat being lowered so mahy rushed into it that the front davits broke, letting all those within it into the rnshing waters belcw. It is not known whether all tüese were saved or not. The flames had by this time enveloped the after part of the steamer The passenger were huddled together trying in vain to gather hope f rom the expression of one another's countenances. The llames were drawing nearer and nearer every moment, driving the crowd forward. The heat became intense. One after nother sank f ainting to the deck overeóme by the heat and smoke. One young couple but recently married got separated in the surging crowd. The husband rushed hither and thither seai-ching for nis lost one when above the roar of the flames rose a cry which he instantly knew carne f rom' her he sought. She was in the ladies' cabin, and he rushed to save her, when in an instant the flames swept round them, and the devoted pair perished clasped in each other's arms. The wheelhouse was now in flames, but like John Maynard of old the wheelman stood at his post,the redhot embers dropping around and upon him. The captain stood near encouraging ' and directing all with voice and action. The foam flew from the boat's bow as she cleft the water ike a knife, theflame and smoke rising ligh towards heaven, making a most impressive picture. One minute more and the shore ia gained. "Hurrah! Now, boys, you may go," shouts the captain to his brave crew, as the boat touches the beach, and he himself prepared to leave. Just as he reaches the lower deck he sees a little girl rushing, as though mad right into the roaring flames. He reaches to save her, and just in time, but to save himself from slipping down the sloping deck into the flames, he grasps an almost red-hot iron ladder and both are saved. He drops his charge tothose waiting on the beach, and assisting others in the same way all are saved from the steamer. The captain and purser state that about twelve lives are ost, but others say that the captain was not in a position to know, being in the fore part all the time. Some persons, who got off in the lif eboat, say that persona were tinually jumping overboard in terror to escape the llames and were not saved; and f urther that six or seven men who were lying on the deck drunk have not since been seen. Between 20 and 25 livea must have been lost at the least. Up to 6:30 o'clock Friday morning only three bodies had been recovered. All saved were taken to Manitowaning and accommodated as well as possible. The Northern Belle has gone to complete the Manitoulin's trip and convey the reinaining passengers to their destinations. Nothintr further is expected until her


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat