Thursday, October 20, 2016

Black Friday Storm, 1916

Surface map from Saturday, October 21, 1916 with the track of 1916 Atlantic Hurricane 14 included.  The storm was impacted by the remnants of 1916 Atlantic Hurricane 14, which technically had ended its hurricane status the prior day.

The  James B. Colgate, Marshall F. Butters, D.L. Filer, and Merida sank in the tremendous storm on Lake Erie. The loss of life from these vessels was heavy.   Only the captain of the James B. Colgate, hauling coal, was rescued on the 22nd, after spending two days on a life raft that flipped twice, two other occupants having drowned as a result.

The Marshall F. Butters crew fared better, with all if its men surviving, some being rescued from a life boat by nearby ships and the captain and a crew member being rescued by another ship.  Interestingly that one poured "storm oil" on the water, a heavy oil which in fact operated to "calm troubled waters"  The ship was a wooden vessel and broke up.

The wooden coal hauler D. L. Filer had been two days in heavy seas and wind when it sank at the mouth of the Detroit River.  It's crew took refuge on two masts, but one broke and six out of the seven men on it drowned.  The seventh man swam to another mast where the captain had taken refuge, but as a rescue vessel approached the next day he slipped from mast and drowned.  Only the captain survived.

The Merida was a Canadian steamer that sank during the night.  Her entire crew of 23 men was found floating, dead, in the lake the following day.

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