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Fortunate Rescue


February 12, 1904

Fortunate Rescue,
Two Men from Sch. James R. Clark Picked Up

John Haffey and Charles Devaeau of this port, who belong to the crew of the fishing schooner James R. Clark, arrived at Rockland Wednesday afternoon on the steamer Mineola.  They were rescued, quite by chance, after spending nearly 25 hours in a dory, with the temperature at no time above zero.  They had been separated from their vessel by the thick fog which shut in Sunday forenoon, and they are quite positive that another dory, which was even farther from the schooner, did not shore their good fortune in being picked up.  Its occupants were French sailors whose names are unknown to the rescued men.

Mr. Haffey told this story to a reporter:

We were tending trawls about five miles form Isle au Haut when the fog shut in so suddenly that we were unable to locate the vessel.  We could hear a horn blowing in the distance, but the sound grew fainter and the fog bank became so thick that it was impossible to see 50 feet ahead.  We rowed constantly in the hope of reaching one of the islands and once got within two miles of shore, only to encounter a strong gale and lose our headway.

There was not food or drink in the dory, and sleep was out of the question.  We dared not anchor for fear of freezing to death, and for more than 24 hours we rowed steadily in order to keep our blood in circulation and reach shore if possible.

The dory iced up very rapidly and we were obliged to pound the side almost constantly in order to keep the boat free.  Monday forenoon we sighted the lobster smack Eva Martin of Tremont.  We waved the trawl flags and shouted frantically, but at the end of 15 or 20 minutes we had failed to attract attention and the vessel was drawing farther away.  Then came the reefing of the smack's mainsail and we were discovered.

When we had been taken aboard it was found that my hands were frozen, and both of us were so weak that we collapsed on the deck.  At the time of the rescue we were drifting steadily to sea.

The men left for their homes in this city yesterday morning.


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