"I left Seattle and reached the 'Holyoke' and 'Clallam' about 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Capt. Roberts, of the 'Clallam', sung out to me to tell the 'Holyoke' to let go the hawser and be quick about it. I did so and Capt. Hall complied. Swinging my boat around, I saw the 'Clallam' sinking. Then we began lowering out our boats.
"People by this time were floundering in the water all about us. Their cries for help were heartrending. Men were clinging to wreckage, rafts and every conceivable thing.
"My crew began throwing out life lines to those in the water. We hauled twelve aboard in this way.
"It was a bewildering situation through the darkness and gale we could hear the piteous cries of the drowning from every direction. We could go to one, only to find that the poor fellow had gone down then make for another. So it went.
"Peter Larson we found on a ladder. He was unconscious when we got him aboard, and I thought he was done for. He could not stand and his eyes were closed. We carried him into a hot room and gave him a hot coffee and whiskey. He appeared to revive , but when he regained consciousness apparently suffered great pain.
"Larson's case was not very unlike that of the rest. Purser Freer is another who had a close call. We did everything, we could; gave them our clothes and everything else that they wanted that we had.
"All of these taken aboard appeared utterly helpless, as least as to the use of their legs. Their long struggle in the ice-cold water had told on them.
"I do not know just how many we rescued. Our steward counted twenty-four, but when we took an inventory of the life preservers taken from the rescued men there were twenty-eight of them, besides one life-belt.