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Maritime safety, the Ducks, Prince Edward County, 1883


The following is from the 8 June 1883 edition of the British Whig of Kingston.


What Captains Declare Is Needed At The Ducks.

Capt. A. Eccles, of the schooner L.D. Bullock, which arrived here last evening with 453 tons of coal for the Gas Company, reports being delayed several hours on the passage from Oswego in the vicinity of the Ducks by dense fogs. He says that above all places on Lake Ontario the False Ducks lighthouse should be supplied with a steam fog whistle of the most approved and powerful kind, as this lighthouse is a leading mark for vessels bound down the lake for hauling around the Ducks on their course for Kingston. If a whistle were introduced a vessel could give, in thick weather, a wider berth in this dangerous locality as well as well as to the Superior Reef, on which the steamer Persia grounded two days ago, and the propeller Stanly in 1874. The wreckers could easily tell of the many stranded vessels they have rescued at these dangerous spots, among them the schooners Caledonia, Wood Duck, W. Elgin, Forest Queen, Triton, tug Tornado and numerous others. The lighthouse mentioned is also a guide for vessels from Oswego to the Bay of Quinte. It is invaluable to the numerous steam crafts travelling on this route, as some of them make three trips per week. The schr. Eliza Quinlan, in 1882, in making for this place in thick weather, ran on Poplar Point, six [sic] miles above the lighthouse, and became a total wreck. It is believed that if such a whistle were in use it would greatly benefit the increasing trade coming by the St. Lawrence route. The large class of vessels now frequenting Lake Ontario dread near proximity to the shore on account of their draught of water.

Capt. T. Conroy, of the schooner Paragon, adds his testimony, and says he was nearly sent ashore through thick weather, and two or three days ago in coming down was delayed twenty-four hours, having to go very slowly and use a lead. The point complained of is a great trouble to mariners.

We have on many previous occasions advocated the establishment of steam whistles at many of the lighthouses along the Ducks, which all know are the most dangerous points on Lake Ontario. If the whistles were placed in position they would save wrecks and avoid the life-saving service from being brought into use. It is highly desirable that the requirements of the mariners, who are in danger, should be granted. We trust that the matter will be brought to the attention of the Minister of Marine & Fisheries, and that orders will be at once issued for the protection the Captains ask for.



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