January 26, 1888
Sch. Finance , 64.20
tons, built at Essex in 1869, owned by Capt. John H. McDonough, and
insured by the Gloucester Mutual Fishing Insurance Co., for $2300 on vessel and outfits,
wrecked on Blanche Island, Shelburne Co., N. S. She struck on the ledges at 2
o'clock in the morning, in the height of a severe gale. Her rudder was torn off, and
it seemed as if every beat on the cruel rocks would break her up. The wind was
biting cold and the men drenched by every wave.
Fred. Bryant, one of their
number, from Bath, Me., attempted to reach the shore with a line, but was thrown back by
the undertow under the vessel and drowned. George Johnson made a
similar attempt, but was unsuccessful, and was hauled back on board half perished by the
cold and thoroughly exhausted. A third attempt was made by James McKiver,
and Englishman, who succeeded in reaching the shore, bruised, barefooted and almost
perished with the cold, and to hold the line until another of the crew effected a landing
by means of the rope, and were obliged to remain on the island without food, fire or
shelter, with the thermometer below zero, until afternoon, when they were rescued from
their terrible position.
McKiver died a few moments
after help arrived. The body of his drowned comrade was recovered, and both were
buried at Blanche.