Kelley's Island, OH (Lake Erie) Barge MARGARET OLWILL Lost, June 1899


The cabins came loose from the hull of the barge and floated on the water while the rest of the ship went to the bottom. Whether any of the occupants were able to take advantage of this it is not known, but COYLE says he saw SCHINSKI, the second engineer, and HEFFRON, the wheelman, after the boat went down, but that was all. COYLE caught hold of part of the after cabin and climbed upon it. HEFFRON was clinging to a part of the same cabin.

HEFFRON'S Pathetic Death.
Capt. Willoughby of the steamer State of Ohio, sighted the wreckage about 5:15 in the morning directly in the course from Cleveland to Toledo. The big steamer immediately put into service her life-saving crew, and, after sailing around the wreck for an hour and a half, COYLE was rescued. HEFFRON was thrown a line, but he was too weak to take hold of it, and went down in the presence of a large crowd on board the steamer. Several attempts were made to get the yawl boat in the water, but the sea was still running high, and the work was extremely perilous. HEFFRON'S death was a pathetic one, for he grabbed the rope, and, being encouraged by the crowd, made a superhuman effort to put the rope around himself, but he was too weak, and had to give up the desperate struggle with the waves.

Rescue of COYLE.
The rescue of COYLE was effected with difficulty.
Expert linesmen walked up and down the steamer, and every time the big boat could be worked near him a line would be thrown. Finally he reached one of them, and quickly got it around his body. He was more dead than alive when taken in. He was surrounded by the passengers on the boat, who heartily congratulated him on his plucky effort. Capt. Willoughby said that he did not leave the spot till he was sure every person alive had been rescued. "It was an awful gale," said the captain, "and the worst I have seen in years on this lake."

Logansport Reporter Indiana 1899-06-30


shipwreck found March 2017