Two Rivers, WI (Off Shore) Steamer VERNON Sinks In Lake Michigan, Oct 1887
Ten minutes later we sighted another raft, also about a half mile inside of us. It was much smaller, apparently not more than 4 by 8 feet, and looked like a piece of bulwarks. On if was lying a man who, although still alive, probably did not discern us, as he was too far gone. We could see him dip his head and his frail little float was tossed about in the sea as though he was about dead. We saw a yawl with three men and one woman in it a little further south. There may, however, have been more of them lying down in the boat, the three we saw being on the seats. One of the men was standing up holding his oar with his coat swinging on it to attract attention. Their hearts must have been gladdened in their expectation of help from us. How inhuman they must have thought us when we passed them by, and within a mile, too, without even turning our vessel toward them! But with out steering gear disabled as it was we could not steer our vessel, and there was nothing for us to do but hope that some of the vessels coming up the lake astern of us might discover them and pick them up. I doubt, however, if any boat could have picked up the yawl in such an awful sea, and to have taken men off a raft would have been impossible. It was as heavy a sea as I have experienced in all my life on the lakes. Just to give an idea of it, the SANDUSKY, which we had in tow, sometimes buried herself so that only half of her masts could be seen. Once she staid under so long that I thought she was gone."
Capt. WILLIAMS, of the schooner JOSEPH PAIGE, told a similar story. His vessel had passed through the wreckage a little later than the SUPERIOR.
"We encountered a part of a pilothouse," said Capt. WILLIAMS, "and there was a man on it. He was off our port quarter about half a mile and was clinging to the pilothouse. He seemed to be getting along fairly well under the circumstances. The sea was running so high that it lifted our boat from the davits. Had we discovered the man on top of the pilothouse before we got abreast we might have picked him up, but we saw him too late, and it was impossible to turn back in the terrible gale of wind that was blowing."
The stories told by the Captains of the SUPERIOR and the JOSEPH PAIGE were confirmed by those of the crews of vessels which arrived here today. The schooner BLAZING STAR, which arrived late this evening, reported having passed through a great quantity of wreckage at 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon. The crew counted the bodies of 10 dead men, each with a cork lifepreserver strapped about it. They also saw a living man perched on top of the roof of a cabin. He was shouting for help, but although his cries could be distinctly heard, the crew of the vessel sawy they were powerless to render any assistance. The schooner HORACE H. BADGER pased through the wreckage later in the day and sighted two bodies.
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