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The Puritan


Tuesday, June 27, 1922

Only One Man Missing In Wreck of Puritan
Fifteen of Crew Landed at LaHave, N. S., This Morning
Men Picked Up After Nearly 48 Hours in Their Dories Without Food or Water
One Man, Chris Johnson, Believed To Have Perished

A merger dispatch was received from Captain Jeffrey Thomas, who with seven men, landed on Sable Island Saturday forenoon, via Halifax yesterday afternoon.   The brief story from the Puritan skipper shattered the hopes of the optimistic ones regarding the safety of the missing men, till the second news came this morning.  It was as follows:

Puritan struck northwest bar of Sable Island evening of June 23.  All hands left schooner in dories, having much trouble keeping them upright on account of sea.  I saw one dory capsize, but do not know whether men were picked up by their shipmates or not.  Remainder of dories probably rowed to the north.  It is doubtful if any of the missing men will be found.  On leaving the ship, she was a total wreck, being in an open position.

The fog was dense and the sea rough when the vessel struck the bar.   She began to sink immediately.  There was a scramble for the dories which were launched with all possible speed and all  hands tumbled into them., making haste to get clear of the heavy surf breaking over the bar.  The fog shut in thicker than before and the skipper saw nothing more of the other boats.

Superintendent Henry at Sable Island reported early yesterday that the weather conditions made it impossible for the island life boat, which made an unsuccessful search of Saturday, to go out again yesterday.  The superintendent also reported the following message regarding the wrecked schooner:

The captain and crew have gone to bed exhausted from exposure in the dories in which they spent all of Friday night.  Believe that missing men rowed northward, meeting confused seas.

In making north, the dories apparently kept pretty well together, and kept clear of the treacherous bar where the tide sweeps across like a mill race.  In making north, the men headed for the Nova Scotia coast.  They were all picked up yesterday by the LaHave schooner Coral Spray, which had been fishing in the vicinity.  The Coral Spray made for port with haste with the missing and landed the 15 of them safe and sound this morning.

The coast guard cutter Tampa was ordered to the scene of the wreck Saturday to search for the missing fishermen.  So rapidly did the Tampa carry out her orders that she left five members of her crew behind.  Two other men just caught the cutter with a power boat as she was steaming down the harbor.  The Tampa spent more than 24 hours in a vain search and sent a radio message late yesterday to that effect.

Those on the island are Capt. Jeffrey Thomas, Able, Muese, Peter Thomas, Israel Larkin, Luxime Doucett, Charles Hatcher and Alexander Young. 
Those picked up by the Coral Spray are Fred Thomas, Edward H. Surrette, Eleazer Amero, Thomas Delorey, Emil LeBlanc, Daniel Meuse, Matthew Young, Edgar Hayden, Anthony Burke, Arthur Meuse, Peter Burke, James Meuse, William Meuse, Ranney Amero, and Alec Amero. 

Chris Johnson, the missing man, was a Dane, and little is known about him here.   He is believed to have come here from Yarmouth, N. S., during the winter.  This was his first trip in the Puritan.  As far as is known, he has no relatives in this city.


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