Reason for Reading: I read the book a long time ago and knew it was a good read. This book is a chilling tale of how men were stranded for two days and nights during a freezing storm on the ice Cassie Brown , Harold Horwood. The year witnessed the worst in the long line of tragedies that were part of their harsh way of life. For two long days and nights a party of seal hunters— men—were left stranded on an icefield floating in the North Atlantic in winter. Although nobody was held legally responsible, the captains of the Newfoundland and Stephano , as well as George Tuff — the officer in charge of the sealers on the ice — were all found guilty of errors in judgement.
The commission recommended that all ships must carry wireless sets, barometers, and thermometers.
Newfoundland Sealing Disaster | Poetry In Voice
In response to the tragedy of the Southern Cross , legislation was passed to prohibit vessels from carrying more than 35, pelts. Family members could take some comfort knowing that conditions would be better and safer for future sealers. My grandfather's cousin, Thomas Dawson, being helped off the SS Bellaventure after spending two nights stranded on the ice floes. When he lay down to sleep on the second night, the other men assumed that would be the end of Skipper Tom.
But one of the sealers stacked the bodies of the perished men around Tom while he slept and he miraculously survived the night. He suffered badly from frostbite and was unable to stand or walk by the time the men were discovered. His legs were amputated and he relied on prosthetics for the rest of his life.
In , the th anniversary of the sealing disaster, many Newfoundlanders reflected on the lives lost and lessons learned. The Elliston Heritage Foundation launched a campaign to create an interpretive centre to commemorate all the sealers about the Newfoundland and Southern Cross. A memorial statue, created by Morgan MacDonald, depicts the true story of a father and son who were found frozen in an embrace.
Home from the Sea. Death on the Ice , by Cassie Brown.
Two centuries ago, much of the world was left in the cold during what became known as the Year Without a Summer. By Alan MacEachern.
For centuries they descended on the prairies like a Biblical plague, then suddenly they disappeared in a cloud of mystery. Will the dreaded creatures return? From fires to floods and everything in between, it seems that Canadians scarcely get a break from the wrath of Mother Nature. A look back on our history seems to confirm this fact.
Death on the Ice: The Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914
According to meteorologists, the storm that hit the city was a tornado. In the lates, few Canadians cared whether crops would grow on the southern prairies. John's on April 4, , as thousands of mourners crowded the waterfront. John Goodland recognized his son Alexander's frozen corpse from the way he always rolled his pant legs between the ankle and knee. Sealing was dangerous and often deadly, but it gave many fishing families a bit of crucial money and is a proud part of the province's heritage, he added.
It was relentless work if the hunt was good, and could wind up costing sealers if the hunt was poor. Even their drinking water was polluted with blood and seal fat until it stank. They slept like cattle in ships' holds without bedding. Myrtle Stagg of the Elliston Heritage Foundation said the community has worked since to raise funds for a sealers' memorial to be unveiled June It will include the sculpture of Reuben and Albert John Crewe, an interpretation centre and a memorial wall engraved with the names of those aboard the Newfoundland and the Southern Cross.
They helped sustain us, and their contribution needs to be remembered. It was a harrowing, freezing ordeal, but Crewe survived.