Clallam Helpless
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CLALLAM HELPLESS IN THE STRAITS
from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 9 Jan 1904, pg.3

Broke Down When Off Clover Point and Tugs Fail to Find Her

Was Last Seen Scudding Before Gale Under Jib Toward San Juan

The steamer 'Clallam' did not reach port yesterday. Yesterday afternoon she was seen rolling in the heavy sea about four miles to the southwest of Clover point, making no headway and seemingly in distress. Then, with her jib set forward she was seen an hour after running before the heavy southwest gale on a flood tide, her engines seemingly disabled, drifting before the wind toward San Juan and Lopez islands. What happened those who watched the ferry steamer from the shore and Clover point and Dallas road could not say, but it is probable that the propeller had been lost or the engines damaged and incapacitated by the continual turning of the screw in the heavy sea caused by the gale yesterday.
 
Mr. E.E. Blackwood, local agent of the Puget Sound Steamship Company, when he looked from Clover point at 3:45 p.m. and saw the helpless plight of his company's steamer, could be that some mishap had betaken her machinery , and he hurried to the nearest telephone to secure a tugboat to despatch assistance to the steamer, which was not more than half an hour's steaming from port. Had a tug been available another hour would have seen her at dock, but no tug was available. Vainly the agent telephoned to agent after agent. The 'Lorne' was at the Cape, the 'Albion' was at Tacoma, the 'Sadie' was north, the 'Mamie' the 'Hope', each and all of the tugs were absent in various directions. The steamers of the C.P.R. in port had their fires out, and the engine departments were away. It would take five hours at least to get steam up even when the engine crews were gathered together. The D.G.S. 'Quadra' was not in commission and her machinery was apart being overhauled. At Esquimalt Messrs. Bullen offered the 'Maude', but then it was found that she had too little ballast in her to put one in the teeth of that southwest gale. The government tug 'Princess' of the public works department, was sought out it was considered to rough to send that vessel out by those in charge.

Then Port Townsend replied to telegrams. They had heard the request for tugs and the 'Richard Holyoke' and the 'Sea Lion' of the Puget Sound Tugboat Company, were despatched at 7 o'clock. Then, too, Mr. Blackwood tried to intercept the steamer 'Charmer' of the C.P.R. off Sidney, but could not. The steamer 'Iroquois' which was at Sidney, was called upon and Captain Sears putout and searched in vain. The steamer 'Charmer' on her arrival reported having seen nothing of the missing steamer, which had drifted off before the southwest gale going in the direction of San Juan island and the United States side, and Capt. Troup thought that no good could be done by the 'Charmer' going to join in the searching the Sound tugs would pick up the steamer and take her to safety.

The 'Iroquois' returned to Sidney at 11 o'clock and Capt. Sears reports that he had cruised through the heavy seas, and the waves were breaking right off San Juan and Smith islands, but he could see nothing of the missing 'Clallam'. The 'Iroquois' had run out from Sidney toward San Juan island and ran along the shore of that island, as far as Cattle point, but not a light or sign of the vessel was found. Then the steamer ran across to Smith island and searched the waters and shore line in that vicinity, but nothing was learned of the 'Clallam'. If she had been in distress in that vicinity her lights and fires would have been seen and Capt. Sears was of the opinion that one of the two tugs which went from Port Townsend to look for her had found her. He sighted one tug but did not learn her identity, she being to far away.

The following telegram was received from the Colonist correspondent at Port Townsend early this morning:

Port Townsend, Jan. 8. Midnight brings no news of the disabled steamer 'Clallam' or the fleet of tugs which was despatched to her rescue tonight when the news was received that she was drifting disabled in the fierce storm which begun this morning and has prevailed all day in the straits. The last advices were to the effect that the 'Clallam' was sighted making slow progress under jib sail in the vicinity of Discovery island. The location is most unfavorable to a vessel in the predicament of the 'Clallam' for the sharp rocky shore of Discovery island is directly exposed to the full sweep of a southwest storm and the 'Clallam' will be in a most dangerous position if she does not succeed in weathering the threatening shores.

The vessel had aboard the usual number of passengers. The fleet now gone to the rescue and to be augmented unless favorable report is received soon, includes the tugs 'Holyoke', 'Sea Lion', 'Bahada', and 'Magic', all engaged in deep sea towing business.

The steamer 'Umatilla', which arrived from San Francisco last night, reported having sighted the steamer 'Clallam', or rather lights from a vessel believed to be the 'Clallam', wallowing in the Straits towards the United States side. The vessel was seen at a great distance and indistinctly.

During her voyage from Vancouver the steamer 'Clallam' had the windows of the mail clerk's room broken by heavy waves, and some of the mail was received in damp condition.
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