Otter (1863)
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Lives Lost
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Depth (ft)
 
 
Final Voyage


"On October 10, 1885 the Otter was loading wood for Chicago at a pier in Whitefish Bay,about 12 miles north of Sturgeon Bay Ship canal. During an easterly gale, Capt. William Kaufman pulled out into the bay to anchor... by 8 am her anchor chain broke and she stranded on the beach. An attempt was made to launch the yawl, but a wave filled the boat, capsizing it... several efforts were made by fisherman on shore to launch a boat, but the waves were so high ... the only hope lay in the U.S. Life-Saving Service crew stationed at the Lake Michigan entrance to the canal..." "They found the Otter in imminent danger of destruction by enormous seas sweeping over her, the crew of six men clinging desperatly to the rigging... The canon was brought to bear on the wreck and with the first shot the line fell over the schooner. In a few minutes the breeches buoy was run out, and in this way the crew were safely brought to shore...With every sea making a clean sweep over the doomed vessel, she went to pieces shortly after..."
Service History


"After three decades of exposure to the elements, the Otter was owned by John Caeser of Chicago and no longer had an Inland Llyods rating for insurance purposes. She had never received a thorough rebuild and had joined the large fleet of old schooners best described as "floating coffins". Last Document Surrendered Chicago, 10/19/1895; "Vessel Lost October 10,1895"
 
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