Shipwrecks/Tragedies Near Liverpool, Nova Scotia
1790 Chance, a schooner wrecked off Port Mouton on January 1, registered at Wiscasset, Maine, carrying 500 gallons of molasses and 400 pounds of coffee
1845 - The brigantine Virgin was grounded in Port Joli on November 1, and completely destroyed except for the side that was thrown onto the beach. All seven crew members died. The vessel was carrying a large cargo of coal.
1873 - It was reported on September 1 that the brig
T.W.A. Rogers which left Liverpool on February 12, 1873, has not been heard of since.
1873 - Captain Collins of the schooner Helen M. Crosby of Boston, which arrived in Liverpool, reported that on the previous Monday, September 2, while laying to in a heavy gale, north, northwest, in latitude 420 40 and 66 30 longitude, they lost Antoine Lewis, one of the crew, overboard, and also had a boat, davit and taffrail carried away
1873 S.S. City Of Washington, wrecked at Port l’Hebert, July 7, due to a defective compass, fortunately with no loss of life.
Description of vessell. Click here.
Passenger List from July, 1861. Click here.
Passenger List from September, 1870. Click here
1879 - Four Queens County vessels with their crews were lost in a storm on August 29. One was the schooner Leader of Port Mouton which had sailed from Liverpool and was last seen off Sambro on her way to Sydney, Cape Breton. The crew of four included Isaac Smith, master, who left a wife and one child; and three young unmarried men, William Steward, Smith Stewart, and Joseph Wallace.
Another vessel, Yard Point, left Cold Bay in a vessel loaded with coal, bound for St. John’s, Newfoundland the day before the gale. The crew included Captain John McLeod; a son of George Wright of Liverpool; Stewart Allan and Frank McLeod, son of the captain. Capt. McLeod and Stewart Allen left wives and families.
1880 - The New York Times reported in September an incident that had occured the previous week near Liverpool, Nova Scotia. The steamship Leverrier, which had arrived in New York the previous day from Newport, England, “fell in” with the dismasted Norwegian bark Statsminster Stang, and attempted to tow her into Halifax. Captain Erickson reported that his vessel had been dismasted on September 8. A hawser was passed to the steamship, and before daylight the following morning, the bark had been towed nearly 90 miles. The hawser suddenly parted near the bitts, where it had been made fast on board the steamship. A sailor standing nearby was struck and so badly injured that he was laid up during the remainder of the passage. The sea became so high that it was impossible to recover the hawser. The steamship lay to until daybreak, when Captain Erikson was asked if he was willing to abandon his vessel. He replied “No”. A heavy fog soon afterward settled down. The bark, with her foresail set, was seen drifting toward the shore until the fog hid her from view. Coffin Island Light was in sight when the hawser parted. The Leverrier proceeded on her course, and upon her arrival in New York, Captain Thompson learned that the Statsminster Stang went ashore at Eagle Head, a point near Liverpool, on Wednesday morning. All of the crew were saved. TheStatsminster Stang had left Rotterdam on August 31.
1882 - Schooner Amazon, owned by James McCarty of Pubnico, Nova Scotia, was wrecked at Pudding Pan Island, near Port Medway on August 11. The crew was saved. The Amazon had been fishing on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The vessel and outfits were insured for $2,300.
1885 Erato, 24-ton wrecked off Liverpool
August 24, 1886 - Schooner Millie B. ran ashore on Port Mouton Island, on August 24 at 10 o’clock at night. Captain Downie was killed by the main boom breaking while he was tryin to carry a line ashore. Benjamin Downie, the cook, was drowned. The rest of the crew was saved. The vessel belonged to C. Locke & Company of Lockport, and was homeward bound from The Grand Banks of Newfoundland with a full load of codfish. The schooner broke up and was a total loss
1886 - Schooner, Bertha, bound from Port Medway for Halifax, was hit by the steamer Nova Scotian, damaging the Bertha’s main boom, davits, and boat, and the mainmast was sprung on August 28. Crew of the schooner said the steamer was coming directly behind them, and that there was another schooner just abreast of their vessel. They thought the steamer would change her course before coming too closely and would go between the two schooners. They felt no alarm until the steamer came within a couple of lengths without altering her course. Then, they tried in every way to attract the attention of the steamer’s crew, but not until they were nearly on top of the schooner did those on the Nova Scotian observe her danger. The engines were immediately reversed but it was too late, and the Bertha was struck on the main boom. Eight passengers, six of whom were females, were on the schooner. On ascertaining that there was no danger of the schooner sinking, the steamer continued to port. The Bertha reached Halifax without assistance. The steamer agreed to pay the damage.1887 Arthur, 142-ton ashore entrance Liverpool Harbour
1887 - Merrimac, a 270-foot passenger/freight steamer with passengers and general cargo was stranded on a reef at night near Little Hope Island, off Port Mouton, on July 10 and broke up two days later. There were no fatalities. About 100 passengers and crew were landed safely. The vessel was on a trip from Halifax to Boston.
1890 Tiogo, 93-ton wrecked at Liverpool
1902 Gladstone, ashore Sandy Cove, Liverpool
1906 Atrato, 215-ton stranded Liverpool Bay
1907 Candid, 35-ton stranded Liverpool Harbour
1907 Edith, 45-ton foundered Liverpool Harbour
1910 Estelle, 15-ton burnt Liverpool Harbour NS
1919 Audrey P. Brown, wrecked, aground beside Fort Point Lighthouse, Liverpool. Click here.
1941 - S.S. Charlottetown, an ice-breaking car ferry, operated by Canadian National Railways across Northumberland Strait between Borden, PEI and Tormentine, New Brunswick, was wrecked on June 18, 1941 off the coast of Port Mouton, after striking a reef while on her way to an inspection under the command of master, Capt. John Lefurgey Read 1878-1950.
The 342-foot long vessel could carry 40 automobiles and had three railway tracks to accommodate 16 freight cars. Onboard facilities included a first class restaurant and a news stand. Built in 1931 at Lauzon, Quebec, SS Charlottetown replaced the SS Prince Edward Island which was retired in 1931.
One report said the captain, convinced that help would arrive in time to save the stricken vessel, he refused to beach her on nearby Port Mouton Island to keep her from sinking. It was actually two or three days before water leaking through the hull overwhelmed the pumps and she went down stern first, much to the disbelief of local fishermen who had been standing by in their boats. The same report said “according to the locals the Coast Guard dynamited the wreck to lessen the navigational hazard.”
Divers Seek S. S. Charlottetown
Story in The Chronicle-Herald. Click here.
Story in Nova News Now. Click here
From: Lanny DeLong of Brooklyn
I have had an interest in the sinking of the "Charlottetown" for years and made one dive looking for it.
All that I recall of the dive is that the water we were diving in was about 100 feet deep and the bottom was strewn with huge boulders but no sign of the wreck. We did not spend a lot of time searching and since so many years have passed, I am not sure why we gave up. (likely we did not have a lot of air at that time and at that depth you can only spend a short time with out decompressing on the way to the surface aprox 20 mins)
I do not beleive the ferry was sunk by a torpedo but ran onto a ledge and punched a hole in it, thus causing it to begin sinking. Fishing boats came out from Port Mouton and tried towing it toward shore. It was sinking too quickly and they had to let it go or be pulled under with it as it sank.
I know that many of the folks fishing in the area said they were able to see the superstructure on calm, clear days.
I have a chart that shows its location or at least a wreck in that area and that is where we were trying to look for it.
She had cars aboard belonging to some of the crew and was heading for Saint John, New Brunswick, to replace its propellers. The new ones were strapped on its deck. We believed they were bronze and would have been worth a good bit of money.
I am pretty sure that a year or two after we made our dive, a salvage company from Halifax did some diving on this wreck and recovered some things.
We found that in them days if you applied for salvage rights to the Receiver of Wrecks in Halifax, word got out to Halifax salvage companies and they got the rights ahead of you. One was much wiser to keep their mouth shut and do salvage unbeknown to anyone.
I know there must be information in the old local papers of that time . (to be found in the Queens County Museum) Maybe wise also to check with the Receiver of Wrecks or whatever that department of the government is now called.
Some of the older folks of Southwest Port Mouton must have heard the true story many times from their parents who took part in the operation.
There was a “Charlottetown” sunk elswhere by a torpedo. I wonder if that is what the gentleman was talking about in the Halifax paper. This all took place some years ago and is not as fresh in my mind as I would like it to be.
1942 - SS Liverpool Packet, owned by Markland Shipping Company of Liverpool, N.S., carrying general cargo and war materials, was torpedoed by a German U-boat, 12 miles southwest of Seal Island, west of Cape Sable Island on May 30. Two crewmen were lost, 19 survived in lifeboats.
1998 - Matthew Atlantic, a 37-metre fishing vessel, was sunk in Port Mouton Bay to become a recreational diving park on August 8. No explosives were used to scuttle the ship. Hatches were opened and she went down after three hours, settling on the bottom in 55 feet of water.
There are penetration opportunities for those who are wreck certified and the hull has an opening which non-wreck certified divers can enter. The Matthew Atlantic lies in 55 feet of water and there are minimal currents.
Directions: Port Mouton is located on Provincial Highway 103. Take Exit 21, signposted towards Central and South West Port Mouton. After about a minute’s drive you go over a causeway with water on both sides, as the road climbs the hill there is a left turn to the Port Mouton wharf. Take this turn and you are at the wharf.
A few sculpin and lobster call this wreck home and seals frequently visit the wreck. The hull is covered with anemones and the deck is home to sponges, kelp, stalked tunicates, toad crabs, and seastars. Schools of fish swarm the upper railings of the wreck, which are covered fully in frilled anemones.
2000 Keta V, a tug, ran aground and sank off Liverpool. Link.