ORINOCO


Official no. : 155317
Type at loss : propeller, wood, bulk freight
Build info : 1898, J. Davidson, W. Bay City, MI hull# 87
Specs : 297x44x21, 2226g 1928n
Date of loss : 1924, May 18
Place of loss : 6 miles off Agawa Bay, NW of Soo
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : storm
Loss of life : 5
Carrying : pulpwood
Detail : Towing the huge barge CHIEFTAIN, she was caught in a gale. She cut the unweildly barge loose, then foundered.

1924 – ORINOCO sank about 6 miles off Agawa Bay, Lake Superior, while upbound with coal. The wooden steamer had sought shelter behind Michipicoten Island while towing the barge CHIEFTAIN, but then tried to return to Whitefish Bay. ORINOCO began to leak under the stress and was lost.

The 295-foot wooden steamer ORINOCO, towing the 342-foot wooden schooner-barge CHIEFTAIN, was upbound light on Lake Superior, en route to load a cargo of logs for pulping. The tow encountered a 60 m.p.h. gale and the strain of tossing and twisting in the seas, with the heavy barge on the towline aft, proved to be too much for the 26-year-old ORINOCO. Her seams began to leak badly and she was making water fast. When the tow was about 40 miles above Whitefish Point, the barge CHIEFTAIN was cast off, for Capt. Anthony Lawrence of the ORINOCO had seen that his ship’s pumps were unable to stem the incoming water and he knew that ORINOCO would soon founder.
Capt. Lawrence ordered seventeen of the steamer’s crew into the lifeboats off Montreal Island, while three men remained aboard in an unsuccessful but gallant attempt to beach ORINOCO on the Island. Very shortly thereafter, however, the steamer plunged to the bottom of the lake, taking her captain, the chief engineer and the wheelsman with her. The lifeboat managed to survive the heavy seas and reached Montreal Island safely, although two men succumbed to exposure in the boat; the other fifteen reached shore.
GARGANTUA, under the command of Capt. D. A. Williams, happened to be in the area of Montreal Island at the time, with a log raft in tow, and her crew spotted the ORINOCO’S men on the beach. GARGANTUA was hove to and a boat was sent ashore to pick up the survivors, an operation which proved to be completely successful.

Buffalo, Sept. 22 – The stmr. ORINOCO went on the Waverly Shoals, 3 miles from the Buffalo breakwater, on the Canadian side, early this morning. The tug FABIAN went to her assistance, but after repeated efforts failed to release her Arrangements to lighter the steamer’s cargo are now being made. The barge GEORGER will be sent to receive a portion of the cargo taken out. The ORINOCO is out 4 feet. There is a heavy fog on the lower end of the lake, but the sea is not dangerously high.
Milwaukee Scrapbook
September 23, 1898

. . . . .

Steam screw ORINOCO. U. S. No. 155317. Of 2,226 tons gross; 1,928 tons net. Built West Bay City, Mich., 1898. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 295.0 x 44.0 x 21,0 Freight service. crew of 18, Of 800 indicated horsepower.
Merchant vessel List, U. S., 1921

Portage River Unobstructed,
Houghton, Mich., June 5. — The Zenith Dredge Company of Duluth has just finished dredging a 22-foot channel through Portage river, and all known ubstructions to navigation have been removed. Just before the job was completed a 3500-pound anchor, lost by the steamer ORINOCO last October, was brought up.
Buffalo Evening News
Friday, June 5, 1908

Steam screw ORINOCO. U. S. No. 155317. Of 2,226 tons gross. Built 1898. On May 18, 1924, vessel foundered on Lake Superior, with 22 person on board. 5 lives being lost.
Loss reported of American Vessels
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1924

The propeller ORINOCO of the Davidson line is reported to be hard aground on Bar Point, Lake Erie, and so far tugs have been unable to release her. She is loaded with a mixed cargo and efforts will be made to lighter her at once.
Buffalo Evening News
April 28, 1905

. . . . .

The steamer ORINOCO, which went ashore at Bar Point Thursday, was released at noon yesterday apparently uninjured, she was sent on to Port Huron.
Buffalo Evening News
April 29, 1905