Out of GloucesterHome ] Up ] Unknown Schooner ] Sea Serpent ] An Awful Gale ] Drowned by a Swordfish ] Swordfish Attacked ] N.S. Sea Serpent ] A Busy Day ] Mary F. Curtis ] Two days gale ] Six Fishermen Drowned ] Death Stared Them In The Face ] The New St. Joseph ] Coast Guard ] Whale Attacks Craft ] The Ripple ] N. F. Man Killed ] The Mildred Robinson ] Ice Floe Escape ] The Donald L. Silver ] George Dobson ] The Keno ] Sea Serpent II ] Men Badly Burned ] The Angie L. Marshall ] Wounded Swordfish ] [ The Harvard ] The Edith C. Rose ] The Marion McLoon ] A Close Call ] Saved from a Watery Grave ] Nine Fishermen Dragged into Briny ] The Mariana ] The Flow ] Relics From a Sunken Vessel ] The Medford ] Swept off the deck ] Four Fishermen Burned ] The Marshal Frank ] The San Antonio ] Swims Through Sharks ]

The Harvard


Friday, August 26, 1927

One Swept From Deck –
Local Man Has Close Call

Steamer Harvard, a Boston beam trawler, limped up Boston harbor last night to the Fish Pier, her flag at half-mast for the loss of one of the crew, and bringing a tale of suffering, as a result of a battering from the terrific gale that at times reached cyclonic proportions and threatened to engulf the vessel while on Georges on Wednesday night.

A Gloucester man, John Yuerrea, was nearly hurled to his death when a wave swept him over the side but another swept him back and he clung until the water receded. Other members of the crew were badly bruised and cut during the struggle which lasted for several hours while the gale was at its height.

Michael Johnson of 270 Lovell street, East Boston, was carried overboard and lost when one of the giant combers swept over the craft. John Yuerrea of Gloucester, was swept from the deck and thrown back again by another wave. He was so badly crushed about the body and head by his weird experience, he was removed by ambulance to the U. S. Marine hospital in Chelsea for treatment.  William Fowler of East Boston and Ronald Whiffen of Gloucester were injured about the head and body, but were treated for the injuries aboard the ship.

The trawler was in the vortex of the heavy storm that swept the Atlantic coast on Wednesday. The Harvard, commanded by Capt. John T. Hayes of Dorchester, with a crew of 22 men, was trawling near the Georges Banks, about 125 miles off Cape Cod, when the gale struck them, with very little warning. The crew had barely pulled in the lines when the sea was whipped into a fury. Soon the waves were running 30 to 40 feet high. For six hours they were at the hurricane’s mercy. Tremendous volumes of water broke over the ship, carrying everything movable on the deck into the sea. A heavy rainfall, so thick that the bow of the ship was invisible from the pilot house, cut the faces of the men if they looked to windward. It was the worst storm Capt. Hayes had ever encountered in his long sea experience. It seemed to come from all directions.

The fire room became waist deep in water, while the firemen feverishly worked to keep up steam. But their efforts were in vain. The steam gauge lowered and with the loss of power, the ship could not be kept head on into the raging sea.  The trawler was thrown into the trough of the waves and tremendous seas broke over her. The galley door was forced open and it was filled with water. The boat was tossed about like a cork and the crew was thrown about like tenpins.

One of the waves carried Johnson to a watery grave. A short while later, Yuerrea was lifted overboard and was rescued by a freak trick of the elements, when he was thrown back again on the crest of another wave. Fowler and Whiffen were swept along the deck, and wedged under a steel grating at the stern of the boat.

After six hours of terror, the storm subsided as quickly as it arose. Members of the crew stated they couldn’t have lasted another hour. The firemen had become exhausted and could not have kept up even the amount of steam they had succeeded in doing much longer.


  Out of GloucesterOut of Gloucester Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]

   The contents of this site, including but not limited to the text and images and their arrangement, are
Copyright by R. Sheedy - all rights reserved.