February 17, 1949
Schooner Wrecked - 5 Dead, 21 Saved
N. F. Ship Marshal Frank Hits Shoal Near Sydney, N. S.
and Smashed to Bits
A fishing schooner captain, choked with
emotion, told today how five Newfoundlanders were lost and 21 rescued when their 144-ton
vessel sank after hitting a shoal.
The schooner, the Marshal Frank,
went down in the storm-tossed Atlantic after hitting Mary Joseph Shoals, 22 miles south of
Twenty one of the fishermen reached shore in
dories during the storm.
His voice choking with grief over the loss of
this men and after talking by telephone with relatives of his crewmen, Capt. Abraham
Miles told of the last minutes before the ship was torn to bits by rocks.He said
that a group of boys huddled together drying on the deck of the Marshal Frank.
They refused to leave the ship. Capt. Miles added: "I
know they are lost now." His voice was hoarse from shouting directions to the
21 survivors who followed him in the dories.
Capt. Miles said that 26 men
aboard the ship were caught unawares when the vessel, of Lunenburg registry, hit the shoal
about six miles from the Forchu lighthouse.
Fog had set in after the fishermen had cruised
in close to the rocky Cape Breton shore to escape the rolling sea and winds which sent
waves booming over the craft. Said Capt. Miles, "I think it
was the Mary Joseph reef we hit. The rocks went through the bottom of the boat.
We had 11 dories but could use only six."
Miles was drenched by the
chilly sea when he leaped into a dory and was joined by James Burton and Harold
Keeping. He added, "We rowed away from the ledges and shouted to the
others to follow. The boys said they spotted five dories and we thought all had got