Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks - Explore Shipwrecks - Sevona
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Because all of the experienced crew were in the forward part of the Sevona, the after boats were piloted by the ship's black gang , galley staff, and passengers, who were largely unfamiliar with boat handling. Even the most experienced mariners would have had difficulties managing the boats as they plunged and corkscrewed through the wild seas.

Engineer Phillipi's boat made a brave but unsuccessful attempt to rescue the forward crew and spent six terrifying hours at sea before reaching land at Little Sand Bay, where the passengers were assisted by a farmer looking for storm-spooked cattle. Harry Van Vlack, the Sevona's one-armed oiler , worked furiously to bail out the smaller lifeboat with his cap, keeping it afloat long enough to blow ashore at East Bay, Sand Island.

The captain, two mates , two wheelsmen , and two watchmen, who were at the front of the ship, were lost. They died while trying to make it to Sand Island on the raft they made of the Sevona's hatch covers. Apparently, the forward lifeboat had been removed and not replaced during the Sevona's rebuild.

 

 

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