He Died Fighting
previous page     BC Lists     Clallam Index     next page
HE DIED FIGHTING
from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 13 Jan 1904, pg.1

Capt. Livingstone Thompson Leads a Brigade of Bailers to the End

Captain Livingstone Thompson, the well-known land surveyor, who lost his life in the 'Clallam' disaster, died fighting to help to save the ill-fated steamer. He lead a brigade of bailers, and worked like a trojan. When Capt. Roberts believed that the end had come and called the bailers up just before the steamer careened over and lay with her smokestack in the water and her masts awash. Capt. Thompson did his best to keep up the spirits of those who faced death with him. Brave man, as he was he did all possible for others to the end.

When Capt. Roberts called the bailers from below, Capt. Thompson, said, "Let's give her another round for luck" but none stayed. He joined the others in clambering up to the rail and over on to the side of the overturned steamer. Lester David, who is in this city, ran up with Capt. Thompson, and he says Capt. Thompson clambered over on to the steamer's side at the same time as he did. He believes that Capt. Thompson slid down and struck the guard, being precipitated into the sea, and he was not rescued as some of the others were, including David, by the boats from the tugs.

David said that before sending off the boats with the women and children, Capt. Roberts called a council of the crew and the decision was reached then. He says Capt. Roberts did not believe that the steamer would last an hour at that time, but when, after hours of bailing she still floated, they believed that she would last, after all, until the tugs took her to port.

Mr. David says that the night was not a dense dark one, but, although the wind blew heavy and the night was stormy, the moon showed brightly overhead. This was fortunate, for had it been otherwise the rescuers would not have been able to see some of those taken from the water after they had been floating an hour, as Mr. David was. He says that the water did not seem cold, as might have been expected, and when he felt he was safely borne by the life-preserver, he felt that he would be able to reach shore, although he heard the captain of the tugboat, which he could not make hear his cries for aid, say that Smith's island was twelve miles away. He heard this as he floated in the sea. The waves slashed him about, until he saw, in a position that seemed to be on the top of a great mountain of water nearby, a boat with two men in it, one of whom shouted to him, asking if he wanted to get out. He reached a rope they threw him, and after about fifteen minutes of work they hauled him in. When he neared the tug the officers of that vessel shouted to him to get into the water again. He did, and was bumped against the side of the tug. There he was reached and rescued.
previous page     BC Lists     Clallam Index     next page     top