Boarding of Windows
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BOARDING OF WINDOWS
from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 13 Jan 1904, pg.8

Quartermaster L. Meyer Tells of the Struggle Against the Sea

Quartermaster L. Meyer, who was one of the survivors of the wreck, resides at Aust, Whidby Island. He has been with the 'Clallam' several months. Mr. Meyer relates his version of the breaking up of the steamer as follows:

"Since the sun went down we had all been at work, with all our might, bailing water out of the hold and throwing freight and everything movable overboard for the purpose of lightening the vessel. The sea was rolling 40 feet high. The steamer listed badly to port, and the waves broke in the saloon windows on that side of the vessel.

"Men were set to work to nail boards over them, but almost as soon as they were nailed on the seas tore them off, throwing the men near them across the saloon. As the break-up approached I was sent forward on deck and was standing against the port rail near the bow. A great wave threw the vessel further over than she had yet been thrown, and the starboard anchor broke loose and fell across the other anchor.

"It was then that I made up my mind that any further effort to save the steamer would be useless, so I climbed across the deck to the starboard rail, which was black with people clinging desperately to it like a pack of flies. Watching my chances between the dash of waves, I passed many of those clinging there, made my way to the hurricane deck, climbed the fire escape ladder to the smokestack, and from there jumped clear of the steamer, and managed to make my way to the life raft, which was already afloat.

"In all there were some twelve people saved on the life raft, including Capt. Roberts. From the raft, we were picked up by the tug 'Sea Lion'"