The Clallam Inquiry
previous page     BC Lists     Clallam Index     next page
from the Democrat Leader, Port Angeles, Washington, 6 Feb 1904, pg. 3
(contributed by C. Foss of Port Angeles)

The marine inspectors have given their verdict in the inquiry into the loss of the 'Clallam' and the public is no wiser than it was before, except that its suspicions of a whitewash for Roberts and the victimizing of DeLaunay have been confirmed. The inspectors put the blame of the disaster primarily on DeLaunay and take away his license; they hold Captain Roberts for not seeing to it that the boat was towed to the nearest land and suspend his license for one year.

The decision is all that could be expected when it is considered that the inspectors were on trial as much as any one and to find different would be to convict themselves.

Despite the findings, the public will not be satisfied until some other authority has passed upon the case. Even though DeLaunay did pump water into the ship, (experts say such a thing is impossible) Capt. Roberts is responsible for the loss of life, and the whole story seems very clear that uppermost in his mind was the saving of his vessel with no thought of life. There were 50 things that could have been done to save the lives of the passengers, but it seems that the course taken was the only one whereby such a disaster could result.

It is to be hoped that this decision will not end the matter.

Later news is given out that Capt. Roberts will go South on a trip and will not testify before the coroner's jury. Engineer DeLaunay will appeal from the findings to Chief Bermingham of San Francisco.