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 hurricanes
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 couldnt 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.