|Date Built: 1889 ||Builders: Simon Langell in St. Clair, Michigan for Eagle Trans. Co. of Detroit, MI & China.|
|Construction: Wooden Bulk Steamer. Double Decks added in 1895-1896||Owners: Sinclair-Comstock interests of Duluth|
|Dimensions: 215 x 37 x 22
1,126 gross tons
|Cargo: Limestone rock|
Condition: Large part of hull intact resting on the sand bottom with the boilers which are collapsed, 2 wood stock anchors, windlass and lots of ship parts scattered about.
Location: 4 mi. East of City Marina, 1 mi. off shore.
Date of Loss: November 24-25, 1909
|GPS: N45 01.450 W83 20.670|
Type of Loss: Explosion & Fire
Loss of Life: none
Co-ordinates are informational only, they maybe inaccurate and should
NOT BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES!
On Wednesday evening, November 24, 1909, with a her cargo holds full of limestone from Kelly's Island, Ohio and a deck load of 500 barrels of salt taken on in St. Clair, Michigan Captain John Sinclair pulled the wooden steamer Oscar T. Flint into Thunder Bay to affect repairs to their air pump.
The Flint had the barge Redington in tow to help carry back a cargo of 2,000,000 board feet of lumber from their current destination of Duluth. With a load of 800 tons of limestone the Redington had just enough cargo to ballast her for their trip through Lake Superior.
Early Thursday morning Capt. Sinclair was the first crew member aware that his vessel was on fire. As the Captain's cabins were in the forward end he was awaken first by thick smoke in his cabin, so thick that he ran barefoot aft to awaken the rest of the 14 member crew with only the clothes on his back and a fur coat. The fire's cause could only be guessed at as being caused by a lantern explosion, and by the the time the crew gathered to fight the fire it was evident that the vessel was lost. Into the chill, calm November night 14 men took to two yawls and watched as their ship burned to the water line. Ashore, the conflagration was first spotted from Thunder Bay Island and Capt. Persons who called Alpena by phone and hustled his crew into their power lifeboat. They were soon on the scene as well as the Tug Ralph from Alpena. The Crew of the Flint were brought to Alpena by 7:30am where the had breakfast at the Owl Cafe and obtained lodgings at the Globe Hotel while the Oscar T. Flint burned before settling to the bottom of Thunder Bay.
Interviewed later, Captain Sinclair stated, “This has been my unlucky day, but I suppose we should be thankful to escape with our lives. We could do nothing to save the burning vessel and had to take to the boats lively. The smoke coming into my cabin woke me up. . . The vessel was a mass of flames forward. It was fortunate there was no wind or there might have been a different story to tell.”