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Newspaper Page Text
V -"-- w.
CLAIM ALL NAVIGATION WOULD BE SAFER IF
SEAMEN'S BILL WAS PASSED
The need of Senator LaFollette's seamen's bill has been clearly shown
during the storms that have swept the Great Lakes in the last two days.
Because the seamen's bill doesn't tend only to make passenger-car
rying boats safe. If the bill is passed all navigation will be safer.
Frank C. Foster, first mate on the steamer Samuel Mather, owned by
the steel trust, was drowned when the vessel grounded near Detroit, Mich.
This accident was caused by traveling" in a dangerous zone in order to make
better time on freight delivery hy the steel trust.
The steamer Louisiana was burned to the water's edge near Green
Bay, Wis., and there were barely sufficient lifeboats to save the 19 men
An unidentified vessel is pounding itself to pieces off Point Pelee. At
this time no one from the doomed steamer has ventured on the lake in life
boats. A. W. Goodrich, head of the Great Lakes Transportation trust, through
a force of lobbyists, has launched an active campaign at Washington to
defeat the bill which now nes buried ,
in a House committee.
Goodrich hopes to beat the bill by
hfs contention that it will be impossi
ble for a ship to provide lifeboats for
3,000 or 4,000 passengers.
Victor A. Olander, president of the
Lake Seamen's Union, asserts .that
this is mere subterfuge on. the part
of Goodrich. He says there are only
three or four vessels on the Great
Lakes permitted to carry over 3,000,
and that even they do not usually
have that many on board.
Olander claims that U. S. Jpcal in
spectors realize that it is unsafe for
a crowd of 3,000 to board a boat that
is permitted to carry that number of
The following information shows
some of the loose methods in con
ducting navigation on the Great
The' steamer City of Detroit III. is
allowed to carry only 581 passen
gers throughout the entire year with
the exception of the period from May
to October, when it is allowed to'car
ry 2,289, and IF it keeps within five
miles of shore 4,015 passengers can
be jammed on board.
"This steamer trades between De
troit and Buffalo," said Olander. "A
glance at the charter of Lake Erie
will convince any one that it would
be utter folly or worse for any master
to attempt to keep within five miles
from land between these ports. The
shore line is anything but straight.
In thick or even hazy weather it
would be impossible to follow it, and
no shipmaster would ever make the
But yet the ship owners take ad
vantage of this five-mile permission
to jam as many passengers aboard as
wish to purchase tickets.
The Christopher Columbus is al
lowed to carry 250 passengers
throughout the year with the excep
tion of May to October, when it is
permitted to carry 1,617. Within the
five mile limit t3,800 passengers are
jammed on the vessel.
The Christopher Columbus trades
between Chicago and Milwaukee. To
keep within the five-mile limit she
must, while heading to the north,
work to the westward after leaving
Chicago, along by Waukegan and
Kenosha, thence to the easjtward to
clear Racine and then head for Mil
waukee. "I don't know whether anybody
ever tried to wriggle that vessel along
the shore in that manner," said Mr.
Olander, "I don't know whether she
tiaate'T?ill f- .a