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About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 4, 1914)
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Great Liner Goes to Bottom at Mouth of St. Law
rence River Following a Collision
With a Collier.
RimouBkl, Que., May SI. Nine hun
dred and sixty-four persons lost their
Uvea Friday morning when the great
Canadian Pacific twin screw liner Em
press of Ireland was rammed amid
ships In a thick fog oft Father Point
In the St Lawrence and sunk by the
Norwegian' collier Storstad.
Four hundred and three survivors
were picked up from floating wreck
age and two lifeboats.
And only 12 of the eaved are women.
Gathered piecemeal from survivors
the horror of this wreck grows with
the telling. '
Waters Quickly Engulf Ship.
Tho doomed ones had llttlo ttmo
even to pray. They woro engulfel by
the onniBhlng waters that swullowod
the big ship lnsldo of nineteen' min
utes from the time sho was struck.
The wireless operators on the Em
press, sticking to their posts to tho
last, had time only to Bend a few "S.
O. EL" calls for help when tho rising
waters silenced their Instruments.
That silence told tho rescuers miles
away more potontly than a buglo tha't
doom had overtakon tho ship.
Only six hours before this fateful
collision the passengers sang as a
good-night hymn "God Be With You
Till Mo 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 the Empress of Ireland, a steel
hulled, stoel-bulkheaded ship of more
than eight thousand tons, left Mon
treal at 4:30 Thursday afternoon in
command of H. G. Kendall of the
Royal Naval Reserve, one of the most
skilled of transatlantic navigators.
Forest fires also obscured the at
mosphere and the big ship, In charge
of a pilot, proceeded slowly on her
way to sea. At midnight tho pilot
aide left near Fathor Point, shouting
a merry "Bon Voyage" as he went
down their ladder to his waiting boat
The darkness at thU tlmo was in
tenso and the ship under the eloweat
speed posslblo with steerageway hold
her course. Her decks wero deserted.
Tho passengra had all sought their
berths with no thought of Impending
Out of tho darkness, on tho port
sldoBoon after 2:30 In tho morning
thero loomed tho llttlo Norwegian col
lier, not half the slzo of tho Empress,
but fated to be her destroyer.
Not until tho collier was almost
ubeam of tho big liner was the dangor
known on either ship. Tho fog had
blotted out tho lights as well as tho
port and starboard lights of both ships.
Quick ordors trumpeted on both ves
sels wero heard. Hut they cnina ull
Strikes hip Amidshijj.
Tho steel-polntcft- prow of tho Stor
stad etruck tho liner amidships and
then forged utt, ripping nnd tearing Its
way through tho Empress of Ireland.
Clear to tho stern of the Empress of
Ireland was this great steel shaving
cut from her side, from tho top of the
LOST OCEAN LINER EMPRESS OF
hull far below the water line. Into
that rent tho water poured with the
forco of a Niagara.
- The bow of the Storstad smashed Us
way through berths on that side of the
ship, killing passengers sleeping in
their berths and grinding bodies to
Reaching the stern of the big liner,
the Storstad staggered off In the dark
ness, her bow crumpled by the impact.
Her commander was ready a few min
utes later, when he found his ship
would float, to aid tho crippled and
Blnklng Empress, but he was too late
to save the majority of those on board.
Carried to Bottom.
Tho EmprosB of Ireland recoiled al
most on her starboard beam ends from
the blow of tho collier and passengers
woro flung from their berths against
tho walls of their staterooms.
Many wero stunned and before they
had tlmo to recover wero carried to
the bottom with tho ship.
Tho vast torrents pouring into the
great gosh on tho port side, aft, filled
the corridors and flooded every state
room abaft tho midship section ln
sldo of four minutes.
Thore was never a chance for the
helpless ones in the after cabins and
staterooms of the liner. With her port
side laid open for half its length from
the midship section to the stern, a
solve had more chance to float than
the Empress of Ireland, and the
trapped passengers In that after sec
tion were doomed from the moment
the Storstad struck.
Reeling from tho blow the ship be
gan to settle almost Immediately as
tho water rushed into the big rent
From the forward cabins, however,
men and women in night attire stum
bled along tho corridors and up tho
companion way to the promenade deck
the deck below, the one on which
tho 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 dogreo that made it almost Impos
sible to stand evon clinging to railings.
Men and women, shrieking, praying,
crying for aid that was fated to arrive
too late, fell over one another in that
last Btrut,gle for life on board tho
doomod Empress of Ireland.
Fronzled mothers leaped overboard
with their babies in their arms. Others
knolt on deck and tried to pray in tho
few moments left to them. Somo wero
flung overboard by the heeling of tho
Blnklng ship aud some broko their logs
or arms In trying to reach tho llfo
boats. Above tho din of tho strugglo on tho
great promenndo deck could bo heard
Captain Kendall shouting commando
for tho launching of tho lifeboats. Sev
eral wero launched in tho 19 minutes
that the ship floated.
There was no tlmo to observo tho
rule "Women first" in this disaster, for
thoso nearest tho boats scrambled to
places In thjim.
But even m they woro being
launched, whllo the wireless ntlll was
calling "S. O. 8." there came a terrific
explosion that almost rent the ship in
It was the explosion of the boilers
struck by tho cold water. A geyser of
water shot upward from tho midship
section, mingled with fragments of
wreckage, that showered down upon
tho passengers etlll clinging to the
rails forward and upon those strug
gling In tho water.
The explosion destroyed the last
hope of tho ship's floating until succor
could arrive, for the shock had
smashed tho forward steel bulkhead
walls that bad up to then shut out the
torrents Invading tho after part The
water ruehed forward and the Empress
of Ireland went swiftly to her doom,
carrying down with her huudreds of
passengers who stood on her slanting
deck, their arms stretched upward and
their last cries choked in the engulfing
One of the survivors, relating that
last tragic scene on the decks of the
"I was asleep like most of the pas
sengers when the collision came.
Thero was a sickening crunching of
wood and steel and tbon a grinding,
ripping sound as the Storstad smashed
her way along the port side of our
"I knew that we had been struck
and I rushed to the staterooms of some
frlende and shouted to them to get up,
ns tho ship was sinking. Stateroom
doors flew open all along the corridor
and men and women began to rush for
tho grand companion forward. Thoso
aft must havo been drbwned in their
Darkness Is Intense
"On deck officers of tho ship, par
tially dressed, wero rushing about
urging passengers to be calm. Sailors
undor orders were trying to launch
"The darkness was intense and a
few minutes after I reached the deck
the electric lights went out. At that
time there wero still hundreds of pas
sengers below trying to grope their
way through the darkened corridors to
the companion way and reach the deck.
Most of them went down with the
ship, for the corridors below filled
right after the explosion of the boilers.
"I leaped overboard in despair just
before the eblp went down and man
aged to And a bit of wreckage to which
Intense darkneBB covered the waters
when the Empron of Ireland mado
that final plunge, tut the fog lifted a
few mlnutCB ,lnter and then came the
first faint streaks of dawn.
It lighted waters strewed with
wreckage and struggling passengers,
who strove to keep afloat.
The crippled Storstad, which had
wrought this tragedy of the waters,
had UfeboatB out picking up as niai.y
survivors as posslblo.
Tho gray dawn revealed 'the govern
ment steamers Lady Evelyn and Eu
reka near tho scene of tho disaster and
hastening to aid.
Somo of thoso In the wator tried to
Bwlm to tho Eureka as she nenred tho
point wnoro mo umpross nati gono
down. Ono woman, wearing only an
undervest, swam to the Lady Evelyn,
and was helped on boar, but died of
exhaustion soon afterwards.
Tho work of rescue still was going
on when tho sun nroso In a cloudless
Men and women wero clinging to
spars and bits of broken plaukn. Many
of tho eurvtvors woro Injured. Homo
had broken logs, others fractured anna
and still others had boon Injured inter
nally In that lust inad rush to got away
from the sinking liner.
Women clinging with ono hand to
llttlo ones, while with tho other thoy
tried to keep clutch on pieces of wreck
age, were picked up by the lifeboats
and carried on board tho rescuing ves
sols. Captain Kendall, dazed and unable
to glvo any coherent account of the
loss of his ship, woe found clinging to
a broken spar.
' J. W. Longloy, rancher, of Cnnford,
B. C, went down with tho ship, but
held his breath, and, coming to tho
surface, found a plecfl of wreckage and
clung to it until picked up.
Ono of tho survivors, In explaining
the quickness with which the Empress
of Ireland went down, said:
"Tho collier, being only something
ovor 3,000 tons, did not reach up oven
to tho upper or topmost deck of our
hull. Her bow cut under tho upper
deck and took a peeling off the sido of
our ehlp that allowed tho water to
rush into tho lower decks. Then tho
liner heeled over, and even those 4n
tho superstructure deck rooms had no
chance to snve thcinscdves. Hundreds
of them must have been dumped out
of their berths and slammed against
tho walls with stunning force."
Scenes on Shore.
Father Point, Quo., May 29. "The
Empress of Ireland passed and landed
her pilot here nt 1:30 this morning,"
said an ofllclnl of tho Canadian Pa
cific. "There was a haze at the time
At 1:C0 a. m., I was awakened by at
"S. O. S." ring on my door bell and
rushing down, was Informed by a Mar
conl operator that tho Empress of Ire
land was sinking, having been struck
by some vcbhcI. In undress I started
to help. No other signal could be
got from tho doomed vessel. Sho had
no tlmo to glvo another, ns she sank
ten minutes after being struck.
"Mr. Whiteside, manager of tho Mar
conl station, rendered offectlvo serv
Ico by notifying the government
steamer Eureka, at Father Point
whnrf, and the Lady Evelyn at Ra
Help Rushed to the Scene.
"Capt. J. B. Belanger of the Eureka
immediately rushed to tho scene and
Captain Poullot, vlth tho Lady Eve
lyn, followed later, his ship being
three miles farther away.
"Meanwhile daylight broko and
scanning the horizon with a telescope
I saw the two government steamers,
nine lifeboats and a collier In the vi
cinity, going hero nnd there.. Later
the Eureka arrived at Father Point
wharf with 32 survivors and faeveral
poor drowned bodies, also several of
tho survivors who had been wounded.
Agent in Narrow Escape.
"The scene on tho Eureka was most
distressing, the survivors walking
around their dear shipmates, stretched
out In their last sleep. The Eureka
was sent to Remouski whnrf with all
on board, and the Canadian Pacific
agent, Mr. Webber, who was here, hav
ing Just got off the ill-fated vessel with
the pilot, engaged all the cabs he
could find and telephoned for all pos
sible medical assistance. As the com
pany's agent here, I ndvlsed all the
survivors that their cables and tele
grams to their families would be paid
by the Canadian Pacific railroad.
"The Lady Evelyn passed Into Re
mouskl wharf about 4 a. m. with some
more Burvlvors and bodies. Among
the Burvlvors was Captain Kendall,
commander of the Ill-fated ship, who
was picked up by n lifeboat from tho
wreckage after tho ship had gon
Survivors Almost Naked.
"Most of the survivors were almost
naked In tho cold morning, with the
temperature at 35 degrees and white
frost on tho ground.
"At 6:10 the Norwegian collier
Storstad. coal ladon, from Sydney, N.
S., for Montreal, came nlong slowly.
When her bow hnd been smashed in
it became known that sho was the
vessel thnt had struck the Empress
of Ireland the fatal blow. The Stors
tad was too much damaged to allow
her to proceed to Quobec under her
own steam, but before proceeding Bhe
landed a few survivors and some dead
bodies, which were taken off by the
steamer Eureka and Lady Evelyn and
landed on the RemouBkl wharf."
Sing "God Be With You," On Ship.
Montreal, Que., May 30. When the
liner Empress of Ireland steamed away
from hero Thursday she carried 165
members of tho Salvation army from
tho United States and Canada, bound
for the world convention in London.
To the accompaniment of tho army
band, they were singing, "God Be
With You 'Till We Meet Again."
This prelude to tho accident in the
St. Lawrenco mado tho disaster a near
parallel lo the sinking of the Titanic,
whose passengers sang, "Nearer, My
God, to Thee." as tho Whito Star liner
Irving, Actor and Author.
New York, May 31. Laurence S. B.
Irvine, drownod on steamship Em
press of Ireland, Is an actor, author
and manager. He received his edu
cation at Marlborough college, College
Rollln, Paris, and spent three years
In Russia studying for foreign office.
His plays are widely known. In 1908
nnd 1909 he presented sketches of his
own authorship In England and Amer
ica. On Mny 3, 1910, Mr. Irving ad
dressed the Equal Suffrage league at
Scenes at Liverpool.
Liverpool, May 30, Pathetic scenes
woro enacted at tho office of tho Cana
dlnn Pacific railway In this city Fri
day. CrowdB of keeping men nnd
women begged for news of the officers
and crow of tho Empress of Ireland,
tho majority of whom wero gathered
hero. When confirmation, of tho dis
aster was rccolved Hcvural of the wom
en fainted. Friday's scenes wero a
duplicate of thoo wltnesBed nt the
time the Tltunlj went to tho bottom.
LIST OF RESCUED
Names of Those Reported
Saved When Empress
of Ireland Sank.
The following Is a list of the passen
gers and crew on tho Ill-fated steam
ship Empress of Ireland that havo
boon reported as among those saved:
BANDY, J. P.
BAWDEN, Florence, Hlllsboro, 111.
BOCH, Miss Edith, Rochester, Minn.
BOCH, Rheinhardt, Rochester,
, BURT, C. R.
BURROWS, W. T.
CONE, J. M.
COURT, Miss E., Liverpool, Eng.
DORTS, John. . '
ERZINGER, Walter. ,
FERGUSON, A. C.
FISHER, Mrs. John, Chicago.
OARD, John, Chicago.
(MADE. A. W., chief engineer,
HACKNEY, Mlaa MabeL wife of
HABS, assistant purser.
HEATH, H. Ls Chicago.
HEATH, "Jack," four-year-old son
HENDHRSON. G. W. B.
HOHN, 8. F.
HOLT. P. R.
HUGHES. W. H.
JOHNSTONE, George, Santa Bar
KAVALSKB, Evan. Dulath.,
KOHL. Miss Grace.
LEB, Mlsa Alice, Naasan, Bahamas.
M'DONALD, C. P.
METCALFE, G. J.
.MOUNSEY, Mrs. William. Chicago.
OWEN. w. a
REGINALD, A Moreland.
' ROBERTS, W.
f ROWER, William.
I ROWAN, W., atcwarf.
RYAN, John. ' ,
MITH, O. H.
8MITH, H. H.
SPENCER, C, bellboy.
WEINRUCH, B., Montreal
WHITE, J. B.
COMBES, a pantryman.
BAMFORD, B., Marconi operator.
BUNTHROME, Alex., Santa Bar
BYRNE, Mr. and Mra, Brisbane.
BYRNE, Mrs. G.
ELLIOTT, A., baker.
FINLAY, J. M Liverpool.
FOSTER, B. Baker.
HOLT, Ferklneoa tL, bedroom
HADLBY, Alex., boatswain's mate.
MURPHY, O. S.
SAMSON, C. S., chief stoward.
SIMONS, Mrs. R.
SWAN, J. K., tenth engineer.
WILLIAMS, Joseph, assistant stew
ard. DUCKWORTH, O. H., electrician.
BBBALAK, Joseph. Ordburg.
SBARLB, Mlsa Eva., Seattle. '
VINCENT, Mrs. A, Falrcroas, Eng
land, I t
ATWELL, Maj. and Mrs., Toronto.
BALES, Ml&e Alice, address un
known. BROOK8, Thomas, Toronto.
DELAMONT, (two brothers) Moos
FOORD, Ernst, Toronto.
GREEN, Ernest, Toronto.
GREENAWAY, Herbert, Toronto.
GREENAWAY, Mr. and Mrs., To
ronto. daughter of Bandmaster llnnnagan,)
daughter of Bandmoaster Hanuogan,)
JOHNSTON, James, Toronto.
KEITH, Alfred, lieutenant, Toronto.
M'AMMON, D., Btuff captain, To
ronto. MORRIS, Maj. Frank, Lindsay, Ont.
M'INTYRE, Kenneth, Toronto.
SPOONER, R., captnln, Toronto.
TURTIN, Richard, major, Toronto.
WILSON, George, captain, Toronto.
BIG SEA DISASTERS
1850 March 30. Steamer Royal
Adelaide wrecked off Margate; over
400 lives loBt.
1852 February 26. Troopship Bir
kenhead, QueeiiBtown to Cape of Good
Hone wrecked; 645 lives loot.
1854 March. Steamer City of Glas
gow, Liverpool to Philadelphia, with
450 passengers; never heard from.
1854 Eleven transports with sup
plies for the army In the Crimea,
wrecked In storm on Black sea; near
ly 500 lives lost.
1859 October 24. Steamer Royal
Charter, wrecked on tho Angelsea
coast; 446 lives lo3t.
1867 October 29. Royal, mall steam
ers Rhone and Wye and about fifty
other vessels driven ashore and
wrecked at St Thomas, West Indies,
by a hurricane; about 1,000 lives lost
1870 September 7. British warship
Captain foundered off Flnlsterro; 473
1873 April 1. White Star steamer
Atlantic wrecked off Nova Scotia; 647
1874 December 6. Emigrant ehlp
Cospatrlck burned at sea; 470 Uvea
1878 September 3. British steamer
Princess Alice sunk in collision in the
Thames river; 700 lives lost
1887 November 15. British steam
er Wah Young burned; 400 lives loet
1890 February 17. British steamer
Duburg wrecked in China sea; 400
1890 September 19. Turkish frigate
Ertogrul foundored off coast of Japan;
540 lives lost
1891 March 17. Steamer Utopia,
Anchor line, sunk by collision oft
Gibraltar; 674 lives loBt
1892 January 13. Steamer Nam
chow wrecked In China sea; 414 lives
1896 March 11. Spanish cruiser
Relna Regenta foundered In the Atlan
tic at entrance to the Mediterranean:
100 lives lost"
1898 July 4. French line steamer
La Bourgogne in collision with British
sailing ship Cromartyshire; about 660
1904 June 16. Steamboat General'
Slocum, took fire going through Hell
Gate, East river; over 1,000 lives lost.
1904 June 28. Steamer Norge
wrecked off Scottish coast; 46 Uvea
1905 September 18. Japanese war
ship Mlkasa sunk by explosion; 599
1908 March 23. Japanase steamer
Mutsu Maru sunk in collision near
Hakodate; 300 lives lost.
1908 April 30. Japanese training
cruiser Matsu Shlma sunk by ex
plosion off the Pescadores; 200 lives
1908 July 28. Steamer Ying King
foundered off Hongkong; 300 lives lost
1909 August 1. British steamer
Waratah, from Sydney via Port Natal
for London, left Port Natal July 26;
never heard from; 300 lives lost
1909 November 14. Steamer Seyne
sunk In collision with steamer Onda
off Singapore; 100 lives lost.
1910 February 9. French line
steamer General Chancy wrecked ofB '
Minorca; 200 lives lost
1911 April 2. Steamer Koombuna.
wrecked; 160 lives lost
1911 September 25. French battle
ship Liberie sunk by explosion in Toe
Ion harbor; 286 lives lost
1912 April 14. Steamer Titanic,'
White Star line, wrecked by collision,
with Iceberg; about 1,603 Uvea lost
1914 May 29. Steamer Empress oti
Ireland and collier Storstad collide la '
Gulf of St. Lawrenco; more than 80O
Calls for Inquiry.
London, May 30. The London morn
ing papers in commenting editorially
on the disaster call for a thorough in-4
vestigatlon as to whether the bulk-,
heads wero closed, and, If so, how was!
It that the most modern system of)
watertight compartments failed to
keep the ship from sinking?
The claim for the Empress of Ire-
land will be tho heaviest suffered by
tho Lloyds underwriters since the
sinking of the Titanic. It ls expected
that the disaster will give a serious
check to the schemo for establishing
a Canadian Lloyds, with a. view of re-"
duclng tho rates charged In London
for lnnurlng vessels navigating the
Statistics show that the underwrit
ers have consistently lost money on
such voyages, owing to the dangers oC
tho river and the prevalence of foga
Tho Times, in an editorial, con
siders thnt nothing could have saved
the Empress of Ireland, considering
the naturo of tho collision, but asks:
"What was tho Storstad doing to ru
Intn thn TCmnraRH nt Trailing with ,u.w
suddenness and violence?"
rJlmi . iT.
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