St. Helens, OR Barge SWAN and Steamer DAVENPORT Collide, Mar 1930

COLLISION TOLL MOUNTS TO SEVEN WITH TWO OTHERS MISSING; 12 ARE INJURED; INQUIRY IS OPENED.

FEDERAL STEAMBOAT INSPECTORS SEEK TO FIX BLAME FOR DISASTER; PANIC REIGNS AS HEAVILY LOADED LUMBER VESSEL CRASHES INTO BARGE LOADED WITH PLEASURE PARTY.

St. Helens, Ore., March 31. (AP) -- The disaster that overtook the excursion barge Swan early Sunday, claimed seven lives and caused injuries to 12 other persons.

All hope for the safety of two missing men was given up today. Also it was definitely established that the body of RICHARD BELLAND, JR., 13, of Portland, was in the deckhouse of the tug Dix, lying in 30 feet of water. The bodies of three women and a man had been recovered.

The two missing men regarded as dead are FRED HOFFMAN, Portland, deck hand on the Dix, and C. G. BROWN, of Ashland, Kan., a bugler attached to company L Vancouver Barracks. No hope is held that they escaped the fate of the other victims of the crash.

St. Helens, Ore., Mar. 31. (AP) -- Federal steamboat inspectors today began an investigation to determine who was to blame for the collision of the excursion barge Swan and the coastwise steamer Davenport in the Columbia River which turned a merrymaking throng of 286 passengers on the pleasure craft into a panic stricken mob and resulted in the death of three women and one man.

Three others, two men and a youth, are missing, and 12 are in hospitals here and in Vancouver, Wa., suffering various injuries.

The collision occurred early yesterday as the double decked barge, towed by the tug Dix, was returning to Vancouver, Wa., from Longview, Wa.,

where the excursionists had participated in the day's activities attendent to the opening of the new interstate bridge.
Opposite St. Helens while an orchestra's strains mingled with the laughter of the merrymakers, the prow of the lumber laden steamer Davenport loomed out of the darkness. A woman screamed there was a deafening crash as the ship plowed into the forepart of the barge, and the tug Dix sand to the bottom of the river as the pleasure craft lurched suddenly to the starboard.

When the barge floated down the river and became lodged on a sandbar and the panic which prevailed among the passengers was quieted a check revealed that MRS. J. E. HAGEDORN, 65;
J. E. LARSON, florist; MRS. E. G. LUNDY; and MRS. STANLEY STONE, all of Vancouver, were dead. RICHARD BELLAND, JR., son of Captain
BELLAND, owner of the excursion boat; JACK HOFFMAN, a deck hand on the tug and Sergeant R. G. ANDERSON, bandman Eleventh Infantry Vancouver Barracks were missing.

Bodies of the other dead were unrecovered, MRS. LUNDY'S being found several miles down river.

Dozens of persons were hurled into the murky waters of the Columbia as the two boats collided. Dozens of others waked over a gangplank to the sandbar when the barge lodged against it, while still others, escaped death by swimming more than three quarters of a mile to either the Washington or Oregon shore of the river.

Tugs towed the barge to St. Helens harbor where a survey showed a great hole had been torn in its fore section. The Davenport also berthed at St. Helens.

Havre Daily News Promoter Montana 1930-04-01

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