New Haven, CT Caught in Boat's Machinery, Jun 1900


The Awful Death of Patrick McGaffrey of the Finn McCool.

Patrick McGaffrey, a hand employed on the big dredge Finn McCool (Irish Giant) is dead at the New Haven Hospital, the victim of a most horrible accident, down the harbor, last night.

He belonged to the night gang of men on the dredge and was ordered below to oil some machinery. At the time the machinery was stopped, and taking an oil can he climbed through a hatch and went down into the depths of the boat. He felt his way along until he came to the portion which he had been ordered to oil. While he was at this work the engineer started the machinery, whether of his own accord or on orders from the captain could not be ascertained last night. No sooner had the wheels begun to move than a terrible yell came from the dark hole in the deck at the bottom of which McGaffrey was at work. The yell was one of agony and fearful to hear. It startled everyone on the boat and the machinery was stopped at once.

McGaffrey was found groaning in pain with his leg caught in the gearing and blood pouring from the limb. Closer examination showed that his right leg had been almost completely torn from his body. The man was suffering intensely and soon lapsed into unconsciousness. The men on the boat pried up the gearing and released him to the upper deck where they did what they could for him, which was little.

He was placed on a tug, which attedns{sic} the dredge, and the tug headed for the city under full steam, making the run in about 15 minutes. The injured man was taken to the New Haven Hospital, where the physicians saw that there was not the slightest chance of his recovery. He died at 10 minutes to 8 o’clock this morning.

He was unmarried, 35 years old, and lived when at home with a sister at 1,211 Delaware Avenue, Wilmington, Del. She arrived in the city today to take charge of the remains.

Coroner Mix will review the case.

New Haven Register, New Haven, CT 20 Jun 1900