Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The North Platte semi-weekly tribune. (North Platte, Neb.) 1895-1922 | View Entire Issue (June 5, 1914)
THE 8EMI-WEEKLY TRIBUNE. NORTH PLATTE, NEBRASKA.
- & l' .
1 t (
" I v
Tf ?. --Sfi
Great Liner Goes to Bottom at Mouth, of St. Law
rence River Following a Collision
With a Collier.
Rlmouskl, Quo., May 31. Nine hun
dred and sixty-four persons lost their
lives Friday morning when the great
Canadian Pacific twin screw liner Em
presa of Ireland was rammed amid
ships in a thick fog off Father Point
in tho St. Lawrqnce and sunk by the
Norwegian collier Storstad.
Four hundred and three survivors
were picked up from floating wreck
ago and two lifeboats.
And only 12 of the saved aro women.
Gathered piecemeal from survivors
the horror of this wreck grows with
Waters Quickly Engulf Ship.
The doomed ones had little time'
even to pray. They were engulfel by
tho onrushlng waters that swallowed
tho big ship Inside of nineteen min-'l
utes from tho time she was struck.
Tho wireless operators on the Em
press, sticking to their posts to tho
last, had time only to send a few "S.
O. S." calls for help when tho rising
waters silenced their instruments.
That silence told the rescuers miles
away more potently than a bugle that
doom had overtaken the ship.
Only six hours before this fateful
collision the passengers sang as a
good-night hymn "God Do With You
Till Me Meet Again," played by the
Salvation Army band on board.
The members of that band and most
of the 165 Salvationists were among
Survivors Tell of Fog.
It was foggy, according to survivors,
when tho Empress of Ireland, a steel
hulled, steel-bulkheaded ship of more
- than eight thousand tons, left Mon
treal at 4:30 Thursday afternoon In
command of H. G. Kendall of tho
Royal Naval Reserve, one of the most
skilled of transatlantic navigators. v
Forest fires also obscured the at"
mosphere and tho big ship, in charge
of n pilot, proceeded slowly on her
way to sea. At midnight tho pilot
aldo loft near Father Point, shouting
a merry "Bon Voyage" as ho went
down their ladder to his waiting boat.
The darkness at this timo was in
tense und tho ship undor the slowest
speed possible with steerageway hold
lier course. Hor docks wero deserted.
The passengrs had all sought their
berths with no thought of Impending
Out of tho darkness, on the port
sldj), soon after 2:30 in the morning
there loomed tho little Norwegian col
lier, not half the size of tho Empress,
but fated to bo her destroyor.
Not until tho collior was almost
abeamxof tho big ljner wus tho danger
known on either ship. Tho fog had
blottod out tho lights as well as tho
port and starboard lights of both ships.
Quick orders trumpeted on both ves
sels were heard. But they came all
Strikes Ship Amidship.
The steel-pointed prow of tho Stor
stad tjtiuck tho liner amidships and
then forged aft, ripping and tearing Its
way through tho Empress of Ireland.
Clear to tho stern of tho Empress of
Ireland v us this great stool s'mvlng
cut from her Bide, from tho top of tho
LOST OCEAN LINER EMPRESS OF
hull far below tho water lino. Into
that rent the water poured with tho
force of a Niagara.
The bow of the Storstad smashed Us
way through berths on that aldo of tho
ship, killing passengers sleeping In
their berths a,nd grinding bodies to
Beaching tho stern of the big liner,
the Storstad staggered off In tho dark
ness, her bow crumpled by tho Impact.
Her commander was ready a few min
utes later, when he found his ship
would float, to aid the crippled and
sinking Empress, but he was too late
to save the majority of those on board.
Carried to Bottom.
The Empress of Ireland recoiled al
most on her starboard beam ends from
tho blow of tho collier and passengers
were flung from their berths against
the walls of thoir staterooms.
Many were stunned and before they
had time to recover wore carried to
the bottom with the ship.
Tho vast torrents pouring into tho
great gash on tho port side, aft, filled
the corridors and flooded every state
room abaft the midship section in
side of four minutes.
Thoro was never a chance for tho
helpless ones in the after cabins and
staterooms of the liner. With her port
sldo laid open for half Ub length from
tho midship section to tho stern, a
seive had more chance to float than
tho Empress of Ireland, nnd the
trapped passengers in that after sec
tion wore doomed f"oni tho moment
the Storstad struck.
Reeling from ihe blow the ship be
gan to settlo almost immediately as
the water rushed Into tho big rent.
From the forward cabins, however,
men and women in night attire stum
bled along the corridors and up the
companion way to the promenade deck
the deck below, the one on which
the boats rested.
Swarm to Deck.
Up they swarmed on deck In their
night clothing to find the ship heeling
away to port and the deck slanting at
a degreo that mado It nlmost Impos
sible to stand oven clinging to railings.
Men nnd women, shrieking, praying,
crying for nld that was fated to nrrlvo
too lato, fell over one another In that
last struggle for life on board the
doomed Empress of Ireland.
Frenzied mothers leaped overboard
with their babies In their arms. Others
knelt on deck nnd tried to pruy In tho
few moments left to thom. Some were
flung overboard by the heeling of tho
sinking ship and some broke their legs
or arms in trying to reach the life
boats. Abovo tho din of the struggle on the
great promenade deck could bo heard
Captain Kendall shouting commands
for tho launching of the lifeboats. Sev
eral were launched In tho 19 minutes
that tho ship floated.
Thoro was no tlmo to observe the
rule "Women first" In this disaster, for
thoso nearest the bouts scrambled to
places in them.
But oven as they wero being
launched, while tho wireless still was
calling "S, O. S." there cams a terrific
explosion that almost rent tho ship in
It was the explosion ot tho boilers
struck by tho cold water. A geyser of
water shot upward from the midship
section, mingled with fragments ot
wreckage, that showered down upon
tho passengers etlll clinging to the
rails forward nnd upon those strug
gling In tho water.
Tho explosion destroyed tho last
hope of the ship's floating until succor
could drrlve, for tho shock had
smashed tho forward steel bulkhead
walls that had up to then shut out tho
torrents invading the after part. The
water rushed forward and the Empress
of Ireland went swiftly to her doom,
carrying down with her hundreds of
passengers who stood on hor slanting
deck, their arms Btretched upward and
their last cries choked In tho engulfing
Ono of the survivors, relating that
last tragic sceno on tho decks of the
"I was asleep llko most of the pas
sengers when tho collision came.
There was a sickening crunching of
wood and steel and then a grinding,
ripping sound as the Storstad smashed
her way along the port side of oui
"I knew that wo had been struck
and I rushed to tho staterooms of some
frlonds and shouted to them to get up,
as the ship was sinking. Stateroom
doors flew open all along tho corridor
and men and women began to rush for
tho grand companion forward. Thosq
aft must have been drowned In their
Darkness Is Intense.
"On deck officers of the ship, par
tially dressed, wero rushing about
urging passengers to bo calm. Sailois
under orders were trying to launch
"The darkness was Intense and a
fow minutes after I reached tho deck
tho electric lights went out. At that
tlmo thoro wero still hundreds of pas
sengers below trying to gropo their
way through tho darkened corridors to
the companlonway nnd reach the deck.
Most of them went down with the
ship, for tho corridors, below filled
right after tho explosion of tho boilers.
"1 leaped overboard In despair just
before tho ship went down and man
nged to find a bit of wreckage to which
Intense darknesF covered the waters
when tho Emprun of Ireland mado
that final plunge, tut tho fog lifted a
few minutes later and then camo tho
first faint streaks of dawn.
It lighted waters Htrowed
wreckage and struggling passengers,
who stiove to keep afloat.
Tho crippled Storstad, which had
wrought this tragedy of the watera,
hud lifeboats out picking up as niai y
survivors as possible.
Tho gray dawn rovenled the govern
ment steamers Lady Evelyn mid Eu
reka near tho sceno of tho disaster and
hastening to aid. .
Some of thoso In tho water tried to
swim" to tho Eureka as sho neared the
point whero tho Erapresu hnd uono
down. One woman, wearing only an
undervest, swam to the Lady Evelyn,
nnd was helped on bonr, but died of
exhaustion soon afterwards.
Tho work of rescue still was going
on whon the sun arose In a cloudless
Men and women wero Hinging to
spars and bits of broken plnnka. Many
of tho survivors wero Injured. Some
had broken legs, oihors fractured amid
nnd still others had beou lujured Inter
nally In that lust mad rush to get away
from tho sinking liner.
Women clinging with one hand to
littlo ones, while with the other they
tried to keep clutch on pieces of wrock-
age, wore picked up by tho lifeboats
and carried pn board tho rescuing ves
sels. Captain Kendall, dazed nnd unable
to give any coherent account of the
loss of his ship, wne found clinging to
a broken spar.
J. W. Longley, rancher, of Canford,
B. a, went down with tho ship, but
hold his breath, nnd, coming to tho
surface, found a piece of wreckago and
clung to It until picked up.
Ono of tho survivors, In explaining
tho quickness with which tho Empress
of Ireland went down, said:
"Tho coUlcr, being only something
ovor 3,000 tons, did not roach up oven
to tho upper of topmost dock of our
hull. Hor bow cut under tho upper
dock and took n peeling off tho sldo of
our ehlp that allowed tho water to
ruBh Into tho lower docks. Thon the
liner heeled over, and oven those In
tho superstructure deck rooms had no
chance to save themsedves. Hundreds
of them must have been dumped out
of their berths nnd slummed against
tho walls with stunning force."
Scenes on Shore.
Father Point. Que., May 29. "Tho
Empress of Ireland passed and landed
hor pilot horo at 1:30 this morning,"
said an official of tho Canadian Pa
cific "There was a haze nt tho tlmo.
At 1:50 a. m., I was awakened by an
"S. O. S." ring on my door boll and,
rushing down, was Informed by a Mar
coni operator that the Empress of Ire
land wus sinking, having been Htruck
by some vessel. In undress I started
to help. No other signal could bo
got from tho doomed vessol. Sho had
no tlmo to give another, as sho sank
ten minutes after being struck.
"Mr Whiteside, mnnnger of the Mar
coni station, rendered effective serv
ice by notifying the govornment
steamer Eureka, nt Father Point
wharf, and tho Lady Evelyn at Rn
Help Rushed to the Scene.
"Capt J. B. Belanger of the Eureka
Immediately rushed to tho scene and
Captain Poullot, with the Lady Evo
lyn, followed later, his ship bolng
thrno miles fnrther away.
"Meanwhile daylight broke and
scanning tho horizon with a tolescope
I saw tho two govornmont steamers,
nine Hfebonts and a collier In tho vi
cinity, going here nnd thoro. Later
tho Eureka arrived at Father Point
wharf with 32 Burvlvoru and several
poor drowned bodies also several of
the survivors who had bpn wounded.
Agent in Narrow Escape.
"The sceno on the Eureka was most
distressing, tho Burvlvors walking
around their dear shipmates, stretched
out In thnlr last sleep. Tho Eureka
was sent to Rcmouskl wharf with all
on board, and the Cnnadlan Pacific
agent, Mr. Webbor, who wns hero, hav
ing Justgot oft tho Ill-fated vessel with
tho pilot, engaged all tho cabs he
could find nnd telephoned for all pos
sible medical assistance. As tho com
pany's agent here, I advised all the
survivors that their cables nnd tele
grams to their families would bo paid
by tho Canadian Pacific rallrond.
"Tho Lady Evelyn passed Into Re
mouskl wharf about 4 a. m. with some
moro survivors and bodies. Among
tho survivors wns Captain Kendall,
commander of tho Ill-fated ship, who
wns picked up by a lifeboat from the
wreckage after tho ship had gone
Survivors Almost Naked.
"Most of tho survivors wero almost
naked In tho cold morning, with tho
tomperaturo nt 35 degrees and white
frost on tho'ground.
"At G:10 tho Norwegian collier
Storstnd coal laden, from Sydney, N.
S., for Montreal, camo along slowly.
When hor bow had been smashed In
It became known that she was tho
vessel that had struck tho Empress
of Ireland tho fatal blow. The Stors
tad was too much damaged to allow
hor to proceed to Quebec under her
own steam, but before proceeding sho
landed a fow survivors and some dead
bodies, which wero taken off by tho
steamer Eureka nnd Lndy Evelvn and
landed on tli Romnuskl wharf."
Sing "God Be With You," On Ship.
Montreal, Quo., Mny 30, When tho
liner Empress of Ireland steamed away
from here Thursday sho carried 1G3
members of tho Salvation urmy from
the United States and Canada, bound
for the world convention In London.
To the accompaniment of the urmy
band, they wero singing, 'God Bo
With You 'Till Wo Meet Again."
This prelude to tho accident In tho
St, Lawronce mado tho disaster a near
parallel to tho sinking of tho Titanic,
whose passengers sang, "Nearer, My
God, to Thee," ns the White Star liner
Irving, Actor and Author.
Now York, May 31. Laurence S. B.
Irving, drowned on steamship Em
Dress of Ireland, is an actor, author
and manager. He received his edu
cation at Mai thorough colloge, College
llollln, Paris, and spent threo years
lu Russia studying ior foreign office.
His plays nro widely known. In 1908
and 1909 ho presented sketches of hlo
own authorship In England and Amer
ica. On May 3, 1910, Mr. Irving ad
dressed the Equal Suffrago league ut
New York. t
Scenes at Liverpool.
Liverpool, May SO. Pathetic scenes
wero enacted at the office of the Cana
dian Pacific railway In thlB city Fri
day. Crowds of weeping men and
women begged for nows of the officers
and crew of tho Empress of Ireland,
tho majority of whom were gathered
hore. When confirmation of thu dis
aster was received several of the wom
en fainted. Friday's scenes wero a
duplicate of thoso witnessed at the
time tho Titanic went to the bottom.
LIST OF RESCUED
Names of Those Reported
Saved When Empress
of Ireland Sank.
Tho following Is a list of tho rasaon
Cora and crow on tho ill-fated steam
ship Empress ot Ireland that havo
been reportod as among thoso saved:
BANDY, J. P.
BAWDEN, Florcnco, Hlllsboro, 111,
BOUH, Miss Edith, Rochostor, Minn.
BOCH, Rhelnhardt, Rochostor,
BROWN, William. .
B RNH, John.
BURT, C. R.
BURROWS, W. T.
CONE, J. M.
COURT, MIbs U. Liverpool, Eng.
DAROY, P. I
DA VIES, John.
DA VIES, Potor.
ELGEV1SH, A. '
FERGUSON, A, C.
FISHER, Mrs. John, Chicago.
GARD, John, Chicago.
GAADE, A, W., chlof engineer.
HACKNEY, Mlse Mabel, wlfo of
HAES, assistant pursor.
HEATH, H. L,., Chicago.
HEATH, ''Jack," four-year-old son
HENDERSON, G. W. S.
HOHN, S. F.
HOLT, P. R. f
HUGHES, W. H.
JOHNSTONE, George, Santa Bar
KAVALSKE, Evan, Duluth.
KOHL, Miss Graco.
LEE, Miss Alice, Nassau, Bahamas.
M'DONALD, C. P.
METCALFE, G. J.
MOUNSEY, Mrs. William, Chicago.
OWEN, W. S.
REGINALD, A., Moroland.
ROWAN, W.,v steward.
SMITH, C. H.
SMITH, H. II.
SMITH, J. "
SPENCER, C, bellboy.
WBINRUCH, B., Montreal.
WHITE, J. 11.
COMBES, G., pantryman.
BAM FORD, B., Marconi operator. ,
BUNTHROME, Alex., Santa Bar
BYRNE, Mr. and Mrs., Brisbane,
BYRNE, Mrs. O.
ELLIOTT, A baker.
FINLAY, J. M., Liverpool.
FOSTER, E. Baker.
HOLT, Porklneon R., bedroom
G RAT WICK, T.
HADLEY, Alex., boatswain's mate.
MURPHY, O. S.
SAMSON, C. S., chief stoward.
SIMONS, Mrs. It.
. SORAHUE, T.
SWAN, J. K tenth engineer.
WILLIAMS, JoBoph, assistant stow
ard. DUCKWORTH, O. H., electrician.
SGBALAK, Joseph, Ordburg.
SEARLE, Miss Hvu., Seattle.
VINCENT, Mrs. A., Falrcross, Eng
ATWELL, MaJ. and Mrs., Toronto. ,
BALES, Mlsa Alice, address un
BROOKS, Thomas, Toronto.
DELAMONT, (two brothers) Moos
FOORD, Ernst, Toronto.
GREEN, Ernest, Toronto.
GRBENAWAY, Herbort, Toronto.
GREBNAWAY, Mr. and Mrs., To
ronto. dnughtor of Bandmaster Hannagan,
daughter of Bandmoastor Hannagan.)
JOHNSTON, James, Toronto.
KEITH, Alfred, lieutenant, Toronto:
M'AMMON, D., staff captain, To
MORRIS, MaJ. Frank, Lindsay, Ont
M'INTYRE, Kenneth, Toronto.
SPOONER, R., captain, Toronto.
TURTIN, Richard, major, Toronto.
WILSON, George, captain, Toronto.
BIG SEA DISASTERS
1850 March 30. Stcamor Royal
Adelntdo wrecked off Margnto; ovet,
400 Uvea lost,
1852 February 2G. Troopship Bir
kenhead, Quccnstown to Capo of Good
Hopo wrcckod; 545 lives lost.
1854 March. Steamer City of Glas
gow, Liverpool to Philadelphia, with
450 passengers; never heard from.
1854 Eleven transports with sup-,
piles for tho army In tho Crlmoar
wrecked In storm on Black soa; near
ly COO lives lost.
1859 October 21. Stcamor Royal
Chartor, wrocked on tho Angolsoa
coast; 44G lives lost.
1807 October 29. Royal mall steam
ers 'Rhone and Wyo and about fifty
other vessels driven ashoro and
wrocked nt St. Thomaa, West Indies,
by a hurricane; about 1,000 llvos lost,
1870 September 7. British warship
Captain foundered off Flulstorro; 472
1873 April 1. Whlta Star stcamor
Atlantic wrocked off Nova Scotia; 547
1874 December 6. Emigrant ship
Cospatrlck burned at sea; 470 Uvea
1878 September 3. British steamer
Princess Alice sunk in collision In tho
Thames river; 700 Hvob lost
1887 November 15. British steam
er Wah Young burned; 400 Uvea lost.
1890 February 17. British Bteamor
Duburg wrecked in China aoa; 400
1890 Septerabor 19. Turkish frlgata
Ertogrul foundered off coast of Japan;
540 lives lost.
1891 March 17. Steamor Utopia,
Anchor lino, sunk by collision off
Gibraltar; 574 llvos lost.
1892 January 13. Steamer Nam
chow wrecked in China son; 414 Uvea
1895 March 11. Spanish cruiaor
Rolna Regouta foundered In tho Atlan
tic at ontranco to tho Modltorranoan;
400 llvos loot.
1898 July 4. French lino steamer
La Bourgogno In collision with British
sailing ship Cromartyshire; about 5G0
1904 Juno 15. Steamboat General
Slocum, took fire going through Hell
,Gato, East river; ovor 1,000 Uvea lost.
1904 Juno 28. Steamor Norge
wrecked off Scottish const; G46 lives
1905 Soptombor 13. Japanese war
ship Mlkasa sunk by explosion; 699
1908 March 23. Japanaso steamor
Mutsu Mnru sunk In collision near
Hakodate; 300 llvos lost.
1908 April 30, Japauoso training
crulsor Matsu 8hlma( sunk by ox
plosion off tho Pescadores; 200 Uvea
1908 July 28. Stcamor Ylng King
foundered off Hongkong; 306 llvos lost.
1909 August 1. British Bteamor
Waratah, from Sydney via Port Natal
for London, loft Port Natal July 2G;
never heard from; 300 lives lost.
1909 Novomber 14. Steamer Soyno1
sunk In collision with steamer Onda
off Slngaporo; 100 Uvea lost
1910 February 9. Fronch line
steamer General Chanzy wrecked off
Minorca; 200 Uvea lost.
' 1911 April 2. Steamor Koombuna
wrecked; 150 HveB loot.
1911 September 25. Fronch battlo
shlp Llborte sunk by explosion in Tou
lon harbor; 285 lives lost.
1912 April 14. Steamer Titanic,
White Star line, wrecked by collision
with iceberg; about 1,503 lives lost,
1014 May 29. Steamer Empress of
Ireland and collier Storstad collldo In
Gulf of St. Lawrence; more than 800
Calls for Inquiry.
London, May 30. Tho London morn
ing papers in commenting editorially
on tho disaster call for a thorough In
vestigation as to whothor the bulk
heads were closed, and, If so, how was
it that tho most modern system of
watertight compartments failed to
keep tho ship from slaking?
Tho claim for tho Empress of Ire
land will bo the heaviest suffered by
tho LloydB underwriters since tho
sinking of the Titanic. It 1b expectod
that tho disaster will give a serious
chock to tho scheme for establishing
n Canadian Lloyds, with a view of re
ducing tho rates chargod In London
for Insuring vessels navigating tho
Statistics Bhow that tho underwrit
ers have consistently lost money on
such voyages, owing to the dangers of
tho rlvor and tho prevalence of fogs
Tho Times, in an editorial, con
siders that nothing could havo saved
the Empicss of Ireland, considering
tho mUuro of tho collision, but asks:
"What was tho Storstad doing to run I
Into tho EmprosB of Ilund with Buch
suddenness and vlolouco?"
Powered by Open ONI