Kootenay Lake, BC Sternwheeler CITY OF AINSWORTH Sinking, Nov 1898

BRIT COL City of Ainsworth Lake Kootenay 11-29-1898.gif City of Ainsworth at Pilot Bay.jpg City of Ainsworth Paddle steamer.jpg



Lake Kootenay, B.C. Nov. 1898 -- The sternwheeler CITY OF AINSWORTH left Nelson for Bonner's Ferry and was caught in a gale force storm. Loaded down with eight cords of wood on her bow, she began to founder. Passengers and crew were quick to throw the firewood overboard, but then the water rushed down onto her stern and she turned broadside and began to roll in the waves. At one point she rolled over so far that water rushed into her smokestack.
The first officer put down one of the two lifeboats, but as soon as five people got in it, it was swamped and four of them were lost in the waves. The second lifeboat was launched with worse results, and another five people were lost.
One of the lifeboats was regained and Captain LEAN, joined by Seaman DONNELLY and Engineer KALE rowed four passengers two miles through the storm-tossed water and deposited them safely at the shore. The three men made this trip twice more, rescuing all of the remaining passengers, but the final death toll was, seven crew members and two passengers.

From Various Sources 1898-11-29