Three men, two of whom were badly injured, were picked up by the relief ship “Sagona” on Tuesday afternoon, having drifted 22 miles in a S.E. direction from the scene of the accident on a piece of the stern which was embedded in a ice pan. The remainder of the survivors, after an arduous walk over very rough ice, were able to reach Horse Islands where the few inhabitants gave them shelter and such food as they had left of their winter store.
Immediately on receipt of the news in St. John’s, the sea-going tug “Foundation Franklin” carrying a doctor and nurse was dispatched to the scene of the disaster, followed shortly after by the S.S. “Sagona” with doctors and nurses, medical supplies and provisions. Having picked up the three men referred to above “Sagona” proceeded in the direction of Horse Islands but was unable to approach nearer than five miles on account of the close packed ice. On Thursday, March 19th, doctors and supplies in dories from “Sagona” and “Imogene” were transported to Horse Islands over very bad ice and the following day the uninjured survivors were able to walk over the ice to “Sagona” but it was not till Saturday 21st March that it was possible to transport the remaining eighty badly injured men from the Island to the “Sagona” and then some time elapsed before “Sagona” could get clear of the tight-packed ice.
Of the 153 men carried in “Viking” 26 lost their lives at the time of the disaster and one died in “Sagona” on the way back to port.
The whole area in the vicinity of the wreck was carefully searched by sealing vessels who had come to the rescue but only one body was recovered.
A Commission with Sir William Horwood, Chief Justice, as Chairman, has been appointed to enquire into the cause of the disaster to S.S. “Viking”.
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