Saugatuck, MI (Lake Michigan) Tug GOTHAM Lost, Dec 1943

GOTHAM.jpg

5 PERISH ON SAUGATUCK TUG.

CRAFT FOUNDERS DURING STORM; FIND WRECKAGE.

SEARCH FOR BODIES IS FUTILE; OIL DENOTES VESSEL'S GRAVE.

Saugatuck, Dec. 13 -- Given up for lost today were four men and a boy, swept into the raging, icy waters of Lake Michigan Saturday night when the all-steel fishing tug Gotham foundered off the north pier here.
The five victims were:
LOUIS J. GOTHAM, 63, veteran lake fisherman and owner and captain of the tug.
FRED GOTHAM, 37, fisherman, son of the skipper.
SAM GOTHAM, 34, second son of the skipper.
HARLEY JONES, 42, crewman.
WILLILAM JONES, 15, son of HARLEY JONES. The boy accompanied his elders for the boat ride.
Holland Coast Guardsmen, Coast Guard Reserves and Saugatuck citizens patrolled and searched the storm-swept beaches north and south of Saugatuck Sunday, Sunday night and today, in the hope that the bodies would come ashore and be recovered, but so far only smashed bits of wreckage from the sunken craft have rewarded their efforts.
Location of the sunken fishing craft was established today by oil slick which appeared on the surface of the lake a few rods north of the north pier. The lake at this point is about 25 feet deep and the victims may be imprisoned within the boat.
Other evidence of the craft's fate was life preservers, bedding, woodwork from the cabin and parts of the fishnet-lifting device which was believed evidence that the boat went down and was pounded to pieces.

55-Mile Gale Rages.
Coast Guards and experienced sailors were of the opinion that the boat, of all steel construction and staunch, foundered because Saturday night's storm had hurled it into the pier. A 55-mile gale was blowing.
Families of the few missing men patrolled the shore all day Sunday with Coast Guardsmen and citizens looking for the bodies. Their failure to wash ashore is attributed, however, to the fact the hull was of steel and the possibility that all five men were trapped in it.

Continued on Page 2.