Towboat Hits Pier; Only 5 Are Rescued
Towboat Hits Pier; Only 5 Are Rescued NEWPORT, Ky., Feb. 23 iff)— From the splintered towboat G W. McBride, rivermen sought to day to recover bodies of 16 per sons trapped when the swollen Ohio river dashed the boat against a stone bridge pier before dawn Sunday. Two men in a johnboat rescued five crewmen who scrambled atop the portside of the towboat which broke in half against the pier and rolled on its side. One of those rescued, Ernest Easter, 37-year old Buena Vista, O., deck hand, said: "She went down just about as fast as it takes you to climb from the first to the second floor." The bodies of thirteen men and three men were believed still to be in the 170-foot boat that swirling channel waters pinned against the upriver side of the pier near midstream, leaving only a small part above the muddy waters. Ross Smith, a professional diver, volunteered help for today's today's renewal of an effort to recover recover the missing. Rivermen recalled the tragedy as the worst on the Ohio in more than 20 years. The victims were: Captain Peter Oliver Lallance, 60, of Ashland, Ky. Captain Roy Edgington, 49, pilot, of Augusta, Ky. James Crum, mate, of Catlettsburg, Catlettsburg, Ky. Kenneth Peck, 45, chief engineer, engineer, of Henderson. W. Va. Charles Sayre, 38, engineer, of Henderson. Hurley Burchfield, 33, deck hand, of Henderson. Clarence James, watchman, of Huntington, W. Va. t Charles Medley, 42, and his •brother, Sam, firemen, both of Huntington. James Foulks, fireman, and his wife, Jessie, second cook, both of Huntington. Mrs. Arley Henderson, 40, and her sister, Mrs. Verna Conner, 38. cooks, both of Miller, O. Hartzel Brown, fireman, of Buena Vista, O. 1 Robert Kinkaid, boiler deck hand, of Portsmouth, O. Kenneth McLean, deck hand, of Concord, Ky. Joe Haas and Bill Pierman rowed from the Southern Ohio Yacht club through the hazy darkness darkness to the wrecked boat and saved five crewmen as they huddled huddled together on the side of the gunwale calling for help. Rescued were Easter and George Harrison, 28, both of Buena Vista: Vista: Raleigh W. Hineman, 33, engineer, engineer, of Huntington: George Woomer. 30, engineer, of Henderson: Henderson: and John W. Cain, 18, deck hand, of North Kenova, O. The McBride, owned by the Ohio River Co., approached the first of the five bridges connecting connecting Cincinnati and northern Kentucky Kentucky with, four barges loaded with 1,000 tons of coal each and a fuel flat. This bridge, the re Clip This Map dur U. ». OCFlNtI BONDS AM irjKfl • NOW cms JAMES CAGNEY DENNIS MORGAN BrtwU MARSHALL President Roosevelt has The Register-Star-News cently toll-freed Louisville and Nashville railroad span, is in one of the most difficult stretches of the entire Ohio river to navigate, rivermen said, as the current shifts at higTi river stages and pushes boats toward the pier. Making ready for this run, the McBride left five loaded barges a few miles upstream. The McBride struck the pier broadside. Engineer Woomer said "Five minutes before the crash we received a signal to back off. The boat backed full head, stopped right quick, changed rudder and was backing full head again at the time she broke in two." Cut loose, the four barges floated floated downstream. One sank, two were picked up by the Union Barge Line towboat "Peace," and a third was beached. "A thorough investigation" was promised by E. J. Gutzwiller of Huntington, superintendent of the company. Arch L. Long, Cincinnati Cincinnati superintendent of the firm estimated the destroyed boat's value at $100,000: Further investigation will be made by a coast guard captain, an FBI agent and a representative representative of the bureau of marine inspection, inspection, the bureau reported, adding that minor faults found in the MuBride in an inspection last month were "more than taken care of promptly." Captain Edgington, one of six brothers, all river captains, and the son of a river pilot, was at the wheel when the craft went down, and Captain Lallance. the master, was at breakfast, survivors survivors said. Hineman. an apprentice engineer, engineer, said the few men breakfasting breakfasting were preparing to go on 6 a. m. duty, while most of the others others were asleep in their bunks. The two women cooks were working working in the kitchen. "Thr: first crash was rather light," Hineman said, "then someone someone gave the distress whistle three blasts and the captain said: My God, boys, there is something wrong—this is serious' and ran from the table. I ran through the kitchen and heard one of the ladies say. "It's a-sinking, boys, get out if you can'." "I ran to the back of the boat, discovered which side was raising, and climbed out in water up to my waist on the other side." Pierman, who with Haas was praised by Army engineers for the hazardous 200-yard Johnboat trip to the wreck said there was "no other sign of life" but the five men three soaking wet, huddled on the part of the boat projecting above water. Haas snid the boat "was practically practically submerged and broken in two when we got to it."