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The Marshal Frank


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 Forchu.

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 off."


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