Vancouver Island Man Tells of the Loss of
Isaac Hewett, a passenger, who resides on Vancouver
island, stayed with the 'Clallam' until she foundered and went down. He believes that had the
'Holyoke' responded promptly to the signals of the crew on board the 'Clallam' many passengers
would have been saved who had stayed with the ship in the belief that at the critical moment
the 'Holyoke' would abandon her tow and come alongside to rescue the passengers.
"We all believed that the 'Holyoke would let go her line and come alongside when it became apparent that the further effort to save the ship was useless," said Mr. Hewett. "This belief served to keep us buoyed up until a few minutes before the ship sank. We signalled the 'Holyoke' repeatedly to come to our aid, but she continued to tow us with a line which put her out of range of the human voice. I noticed that red lamps were used by the crew on the 'Clallam'. I do not know whether this is the proper signal in such cases, but in any event it had no visible effect upon the 'Holyoke's' crew.
"The 'Sea Lion' wasted no time when she arrived in rendering all the assistance possible. Every member of the crew rendered heroic assistance, and it was largely due to her efforts that any of the survivors live to tell the story of the wreck.
"The 'Clallam's' pumps refused to work from the start, and she was kept afloat only by the efforts of the passengers and crew, who remained on board. Water rushed into her hold in a perfect deluge, and all we could do was to stave off what every one below deck realized would be the inevitable end. A great deal of water poured in, and human effort was powerless to bail out as fast as it accumulated.
"All this time we were working in the belief that if the boat began to sink we could get aboard the 'Holyoke', and not until she failed to come to our rescue did those on board fully realize their peril. Then the rush for life preservers and liferafts began. Those who were fortunate enough to get on the rafts were rescued in short order by the 'Sea lion'. Too much cannot be said in praise of the tug's officers and crew for the assistance which they rendered."