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The Avalon

 

Saturday, October 29, 1927

Sch. Avalon Rammed by Ocean Liner Off Cape Race This Morning
List of Missing Crew Including Skipper May Reach
as High as 11 Men is Reported
Craft Cruising for Mackerel When Struck by the Presidente Wilson
Latter Stands by to Render Aid

Smashing her way through a blinding fog, the Boston bound liner Presidente Wilson, early this morning rammed and sank the local fishing schooner Avalon owned by the William H. Jordan Vessels Company, taking a toll of 11 lives.  The captain, Edmund Vogler, his father Jabez Vogler and his cousin Clifford Vogler, were among the crew who perished.

A definite crew list is not available at the present time, but it is believed that the craft carried 14 men, being five short on her regular complement.   Three of the crew were saved and two of the bodies of the crew were recovered and taken on board of the liner, and transferred to the destroyer Burroughs which at 11 o'clock this morning, was still standing by the scene of the wreck searching for other bodies.

Only meager information could be obtained up to noon, but from dispatches and radio sent to news services it was stated that the accident occurred this morning at 4 o'clock in latitude 42.09 North longitude 70.02 West.  This would place the sinking approximately off of Peaked Hill bar.

From the information received, it would lead one to believe that the men were trapped below deck, and never had a fighting chance for their lives. this being borne out by the finding of the two bodies, the men having undoubtedly been killed to float on the surface.

The Avalon, after having discharged 9000 pounds of fresh mackerel at the Pier in Boston yesterday afternoon, left early in the evening for fishing.  Most of the seiners have been taking their fish off of Provincetown of late and it is supposed she was bound there to try her luck.

A murky fog over-hung the lowlands of the Cape this morning, and visibility was poor.  On this account, fishermen say that the crew, all except the watch and wheelsman, would have been below decks.  Whether they heard the warning whistles of the giant liner as she hove down toward the and tried to avoid the fatality, or whether it all happened in an instant, cannot be told until the three survivors reach home

The three men reported safe on the destroyer are Nicholas Walsh, 55, Alvin Fleet, a cousin of Capt. Ambrose Fleet, both of Gloucester, and Frank (Frenchy) Hemeon, 44, of Shelburne, N. S.  The known members of the crew up to noon were:

Capt. Edmund F. Vogler, of Port Joli, N. S., married, one daughter in Gloucester
Jabez Vogler, his father, of Port Joli, N. S., also resided in Gloucester
Clifford Vogler, engineer, of Port Joli, N. S.
Harry Anderson, the cook, native of Liverpool, N. S.
Charles White, believed to be from Sandy Point, N. S.
Frank Calder, native of Yarmouth, N. S.
Russell Dahl, believed to be from Sandy Point, N. S.
Manley Peterson,
resident of Jordan, Shelburne County, N. S.
William Hemeon
of Sandy Point, N. S., leaves a widow and five children
Everett Horton,
resident of Gloucester, leaves widow and two children
one man not yet
unidentified (tentatively identified as James Jamieson of Truro, N.S. )
(Original article listed only the first seven names.  Other names and personal information were added from an article published on Oct. 31, 1927.)

Following the accident, the Presidente Wilson radioed to the Coast Guard and the Destroyer Burroughs and 125 foot patrol boat Alert, hustled under full steam to the scene of the disaster.  At great risk they plunged through heavy banks of fog, and arrived in a very short time by the liner's sides.  The three men saved were transferred to the Boroughs and will remain with her until she gives up her search for the bodies.  Cruising around, the Alert found the seiners seine boat and has started to Boston with the boat in tow.

Information from the destroyer gave the location of the accident as a "few miles south east of the Highlands" and that the craft sank immediately after getting rammed.  No wreckage floated on the surface..

The Avalon was built in Essex in 1902 and was 124 tons gross, 100 feet long, and equipped with gasoline engines.  She was valued at $20,000 and was covered by insurance.  Because of a heavy fog which still hangs over the Cape, the Burroughs was unable to do anything more than hang around, hoping that the fog will lift and give an opportunity to search.

 

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