Some criticism has been made by passengers in that the 'Clallam' was not towed to Victoria rather than back towards Port Townsend. By nautical measurement the vessel was nearer to Port Townsend than she was to Victoria.
Capt. Hall says Capt. Roberts, after telling him that he wanted a tow, further informed him that the 'Clallam' was taking water.
"I told Capt. Roberts that I would tow him anywhere he wanted to go," Capt. Hall said, "and when he asked if I could tow him to Port Townsend any quicker than Victoria, I replied that I could. He then told me to go to Townsend. To have gone to Victoria, I would have to buck a gale, whereas the Townsend wind favored us; that is, after we had gone a short distance.
"I was not told the 'Clallam' was in any danger of sinking, and the first I knew her to be near sinking was when Capt. Manter delivered Capt. Roberts message to let go. It surprised me.
"The moment we did so we turned our efforts toward aiding in the rescue. We did everything in our power."
"During the search after his return to Port Townsend with survivors the 'Holyoke' visited San Juan, Henry, Pencer, Lopez and Smith islands. Capt. Hall telephoned to Roche Harbor and other island settlements informing them of the disaster, and each of these sent out searching parties in the hope of rescuing possible survivors and recovering the bodies of the dead.
Capt. John R. Libby, general manager of the Puget Sound Tugboat Company, says he received no request from any one to despatch the tugs 'Holyoke' and 'Sea Lion' or any of the other tugs owned by the company to the rescue of the 'Clallam'; that they went on a lifesaving mission. He received a despatch Friday at 5:34 p.m. telling him of the 'Clallam' plight, and he promptly wired the 'Holyoke' to start at once in search of the vessel, and at the same time instructed the 'Sea Lion' to proceed from this port. Despite the storm raging that night the tugs made good time, the 'Sea Lion' reaching the 'Clallam' at 1 a.m. an unusually quick run from Seattle.