Beaver Island, MI Mail Boat MAROLD II Explodes, Jan 1937
CREW FEARED DEAD AS BLAST WRECK BOAT.
CREW OF FIVE AND POSSIBLY FOUR OTHERS MISSING AFTER EXPLOSION.
ABANDONED TANKER ALSO CATCHES FIRE AFTER DISASTER ON LAKE.
Charlevoix, Mich. -- (AP) -- Coast guards brought ashore this afternoon the bodies of two members of the crew of the mail boat Marold II, which was wrecked Friday by an explosion while it was salvaging gasoline from the grounded tanker J. Oswald Boyd.
Charlevoix, Mich. -- (AP) -- Coast Guard Captain William Ludwig said today he feared all hands perished when the Beaver Island mail boat Marold II was "blown to pieces" by an explosion while salvaging a gasoline cargo from the abandoned tanker J. Oswald Boyd in upper Lake Michigan yesterday.
Captain Ludwig, who returned to his Beaver Island station after an all night search for survivors, said five members f the crew and "possibly four other persons" were aboard the 110-foot salvage boat.
Both vessels caught fire after the explosion and continued to burn throughout the night.
At Charlevoix, no one was reported missing this morning and persons who saw the Marold II leave yesterday said they saw only the five members of the crew aboard.
"The top deck and pilot house of the Marold II were blown right up onto the deck of the Boyd," Captain Ludwig said.
"The all-steel mail boat was completely wrecked and must have gone to the bottom shortly after the explosion. The bow of the Marold is sticking out of the water and a little of the stern shows. The lifeboats were missing, but they might have been blown to bits. It is doubtful whether any of the men aboard even had a chance to lower the lifeboats."
Captain Ludwig said his rescue craft had to battle fields of ice to get to Simmons Reef, 18 miles northeast of Beaver Island, where the mishap occurred. He said other coast guard vessels were continuing the search and that he hoped to have airplanes fly over the lake in the hope some of the Marold's crew might have escaped in the small boats.
Ludwig said he had been unable to confirm a report that four sightseers accompanied Captain L. L. HILL, 83-year-old former Kenosha, Wis., skipper, when the Marold left Charlevoix for the Boyd at 8:15 a.m. Friday. Captain Ludwig listed the five definitely known to have been aboard the ill-fated vessel as Captain HILL; LEON HILL, 50, son of the captain; EVERETT COLE, 35, head of the Beaver Island Transit company which recently bought controlling interest in the Marold II; RAYMOND COLE, 33, a brother of EVERETT, and BRUCE McDONOUGH, 33. All were residents of Beaver Island.
The Boyd, laden with 20,000 drums of high-test gasoline, ran aground Nov. 8 in a snow storm. Captain M. W. Whitney and his crew of 19 were rescued by coast guardsmen when tugs were unable to pull the vessel free.
Fishermen went to the reef to salvage gasoline and on Nov. 23. a man was seriously burned in an explosion aboard a small boat. The Gotham Marine company of New York owned the Boyd and the freighter's cargo was valued at $180,000.
Appleton Post-Crescent Wisconsin 1937-01-02