Rescue Ships Jammed Solid

‘Prospero’ with Supplies Expected to Reach Horse Island Sunday – Men From ‘Sagona’ Landed to Assist in Removing Sick.


            The S.S. Prospero in charge by Capt. Dalton sailed last night at 9 o’clock for Horse Island taking a supply of food for the survivors of the Viking disaster who are on board the S.S. Sagona.  There are 35 men on the Prospero including Capt. Hounsell, chief office; F.J. Lewis, wireless operator and purser, and J. Mckinley, chief engineer.  The ship has a three weeks supply of provision in addition to the stores for the Sagona.  If conditions permit some of the survivors on the Sagona will be taken aboard and the crew of the auxiliary “Sir William” which foundered on Thursday will also go aboard the Prospero from the Eagle.  The tug Foundation Franklin was ordered home last night.  Last evening the Sagona reported serious overcrowding, much sickness amongst the men and several serious hospital cases.

            A bulletin posted at the Marine and Fisheries Department this morning states that.

Plane Could Land On Horse Island

            Doctor Moores left Horse Island at 5:30 with Roberts and Abbott, two sailors of the Sagona who went with him to the island.  Dr. Paterson remaining behind.  Weather conditions strong north east wind, dull, scattered snow flurries.  Should reach Sagona about 12 o’clock.

            Bartlett, operator at Horse Islands, wires that he thinks plane could land off Horse Islands.  Prospero, which left St. John’s 9 o’clock last evening , expected to arrive Sunday morning Foundation Franklin ordered St. John’s last evening.

            Dr. Paterson remaining on the island until weather conditions improved so that he can get sick men there transported to one of the ships.

Men To Assist In Removing The Sick

            Nine men from the Sagona arrived at Horse Island shortly before eleven o’clock this morning to assist in removing the sick.

Communication With Ship Interrupted

            There has been no communication with the ships since last night owing to a break in the land line between Port Albert and St. John’s which is the connecting link with Fogo station. Since the disruption of the line communication was established by the use of short-wave wireless at Port Albert office and by Mr. A.J Crocker, clerk-in-charge of postal wireless and cables at his home on Boncloddy Street, this city.

            This service also failed and the department is now trying to get through with a set loaned by Mr. Robin Reid. The service from Horse Islands is working O.K.

            The amphibian plane Shosky was to leave St. John, N.B., about noon and according to information received by Mr. E. R. Bowring the intension is to go direct to Horse Islands if it can reach there before dark, otherwise a landing will be made at Corner Brook.

Sagona Overcrowded

            Conditions aboard the S.S. Sagona are indicated in the following message received yesterday from Capt. Kean:

            Wind cast northeast, blowing strong, thick snow; can’t possibly move as the ice is packed tight.  If weather conditions don’t improve our position will be serious as there is shortage of food and the ship is overcrowded, while sick men occupy the saloon.  Doctors agrees with above suggestion.  Twelve men and two doctors are still on the island.  Would suggest sending Caribou as soon as possible as medical cases need best hospital care.

                                                                                                (Sgd.) Kean


Ship Jammed Solid

                        A later message reported as follows:

            Using my best judgment in getting sick men and doctors off island. Beothic and Imogene jammed about a mile and a half inside of us.  Impossible for us to move either way as we are jammed solid, and no prospects of getting clear without a change of wind.  Two of our crew are on the island leaving us with only three seamen on board.  Keeping sharp lookout for any sign of doctors returning.

The Evening Telegram, March 21st, 1931

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