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Angus McEachern and James McNeil

 

July 28, 1915

- Ate One Biscuit Every Two Days -

McEachern and McNeil, Stray Fishermen,
Had One Left When Picked Up 145 Miles From Land After Six Days
In Their Dory

Angus McEachern and James McNeil, two of the crew of sch. Bay State, who were rescued 145 miles from Cape Race, N.F., by the Glasgow liner Ormindale and brought to Montreal, have arrived home in this city, transportation having been furnished them by the United States Consul at the latter place.

McEachern and McNeil are apparently none the worse for their experience of five and one-half days on the open ocean without shelter and scarcely any food and are awaiting the arrival of their craft to go fishing again. The experience which they had, however, is sufficient to last them for some time to come and both young men are mighty thankful for the most opportune appearance of the big steamer which hove in sight a week ago last Saturday and took them aboard and cared for them.

Had One Biscuit Left

When rescued, McEachern and McNeil had a solitary biscuit left out of three which they fortunately had taken along with them when leaving the vessel, and a small amount of water in their dory. These scant rations were carefully guarded and the men decided not to touch these unless in extreme emergency. Speaking of their experiences, McEachern, who is one of the best known fishermen sailing from this port, says that it was not as bad as it might have been, the worst days being the second out and the day before being picked up, when it blowed heavily and kicked up a nasty sea. Outside of being chilled thoroughly, neither claim to have suffered the hardship that they might have otherwise undergone. But this is "fisherman talk," trying as usual to treat lightly the dangers and hardships undergone in six days adrift on the ocean in an open boat.

The Bay State, in command of Capt. Archie McLeod, had arrived on Bacalieu Bank for her first set. There was a haze at the time, which gradually became thicker until about noon, when McEachern and McNeil found themselves cut off from their vessel.

Steered west for Land

Hopeful that the fog would lift and they might sight a passing craft, the men rowed and sailed. But no good luck was theirs and all that day and night they rowed on, hopeful of assistance.

Tuesday the weather was thick with plenty of sea and the wind breezed up freshly. They steered their course west, northwest to what they supposed was the nearest land. The gallon of water on board was used sparingly, while the men divided one of the biscuits.

On the third day there appeared out of the fog a large steamer which seemed to be bearing down upon them. Encouraged, they started to row to the craft, but alas, the mist suddenly shut in on them again, and the steamer was lost to view. The liner slowed down and whistled as she felt her way through the fog and disappeared in the distance

One Biscuit Every Two Days

Discouraged, McEachern and McNeil decided to make the best of it. Wet and chilly form the mist and rains, the men rowed and sailed. Every two days was the schedule adopted for rations, when the second biscuit was divided. This they spent the time until Friday, when it again commenced to breeze up and the little craft was tossed about like so much driftwood. Such fish as they had were dumped overboard, except three halibut and some codfish which were kept for ballast. The wind was blowing from the west, and during the day, they sailed further than on any of the previous ones, since going astray.

Another Steamer Sighted -- and Rescued

Friday morning broke with but little promise of clearing. It was about 7 o'clock, the men should judge when their hearts were gladdened by the sight of another steamer, not more that 1500 feet ahead of them With renewed courage, they started for the craft, at the same time rigging a distress signal with the gurdy. The captain of the steamer saw the signal and brought his craft to, while McEachern and McNeil rowed alongside.

After making known their predicament, they were taken aboard and given warm drinks and a small amount of food, The steamer proved to be the Ormindale from Glasgow, Scotland. The captain ordered them to walk about for some time and then they were put to bed, where they enjoyed their first good sleep for a week.

Several hours later they arose and ate a hearty meal, feeling fine again. Their dory had been hoisted aboard and the halibut turned over to the crew's mess. Thursday the steamer reached Montreal and the next day, the fishermen were sent home by Harrison Bradley, American Consul.

McEachern and McNeil are loud in their praise for Capt. D. Kennedy, commander of the Ormindale, and his crew who treated them so kindly. They say the captain is a fine fellow, with a big heart and they will not soon forget his kindness. The the American Consul who looked after them at Montreal the men are also deeply grateful.

 

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