December 22, 1919
Two Went Astray in Heavy Weather
Sch. Benj. A. Smith Makes
Halifax With Sad Tidings
Word was received here Saturday afternoon from
Boston, via Halifax, telling of the loss of Howard Penney and John
Ernst, two of the best known fishermen out of this port, who got separated from
their craft last week while fishing off Liscomb, N. S. The men are members of the
crew of sch. Benj. A. Smith, Capt. Jeffery Thomas.
Skipper and crew on this trip shifted over from sch. Marechal Foche and
were haddocking on the Cape Shore at the time.
It is supposed the men got astray either
Thursday or Friday night, for the Smith did not arrive at
Halifax until Saturday, when the skipper reported them as missing. The craft was
double dory fishing and were out hauling their trawls in the afternoon, when a snow storm
set in, accompanied by a heavy and increasing wind and sea. All the dories returned
aboard, except the one containing Penney and Ernst.
It was breezing up all the time and the
weather becoming thicker, so Capt. Thomas started to search for the men
in the direction in which they had gone until after dark, the vessel blowing her horn and
torches were lighted. Reluctantly the skipper and crew at length gave it up and
headed for Halifax where the loss of the men was reported.
Although it was a hard night, it is not beyond
the bounds of possibility that the men are alive and may have been picked up. This
has frequently happened, and their comrades and friends cling to this hope and assert
their belief the men will be heard from.
Penney and Ernst are
among the best known fishermen sailing out of here and Boston. Penney has
fished from this port for 33 years. He is married and has three grown up
children. He is about 52 years of age, a splendid fellow and well liked
everywhere. Ernst is about 55 years old and well and popularly
known. He is also married and has a large family of several daughters and sons, all
grown up, several of whom are married. He resided at East Gloucester with his
A singular instance is that the crew of the
craft is practically a family of relatives. There are three of the Thomas family
including the skipper, two of the Ernst family, brothers, including one
of the lost men. There are three men all from one place who are cousins and also
related to Charles Frost, who is also in the same vessel; besides two
French fellows who are brothers.