Trinity Bay Tragedy
DESCRIPTION: The small boats out sealing in Trinity Bay on February 27, 1892, are caught in wind and sleet. Some make shore at Heart's Delight the next morning but most freeze to death.
EARLIEST DATE: 1960 (Leach-Labrador)
KEYWORDS: death fishing sea storm
Feb 28, 1892 - the Trinity Bay tragedy
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Leach-Labrador 71, "Trinity Bay Tragedy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ryan/Small, pp. 37-38, "Trinity Bay Tragedy" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST LLab071 (Partial)
NOTES [182 words]: Leach-Labrador reprints a detailed account from D. W. Prowse History of Newfoundland (London, 1896), p. 520.
Heart's Delight is on the northwest corner of the Avalon Peninsula, which is separated from the main body of Newfoundland by Trinity Bay - BS
The extent of this disaster is somewhat unclear. The Northern Shipwrecks Database says 250 men perished. Prowse's account, as cited by Leach and also printed on p. 303 of Ryan, lists a much smaller total: 215 men out sealing, most of whom survived; 24 froze or otherwise died of exposure. Ryan on the same page cites a newspaper calculation that 25 men died. Ryan calls it "The most terrible landsmen's catastrophe which has been recorded." ("Landsmen" were seal hunters who went out in small boats from their homes, as opposed to the organized seal hunts based in large sailing or steam vessels, which sailed from the major ports and had dozens or hundreds of sealers on each boat.)
Keir, p. 159, reports that the day was clear and calm at first, so a great many small boats went out to take seals. Keir agrees that 24 died on the ice.- RBW
Last updated in version 4.3
- Keir: David Keir, The Bowring Story, The Bodley Head, 1962
- Ryan: Shannon Ryan, The Ice Hunters: A History of Newfoundland Sealing to 1914, Breakwater Books, 1994
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