Ships 2


Ships 3

The Marquette

Schooner Marquette Saved By A Fish


By James Donahue


The schooner Marquette was sinking. She was low in the water when the steamer Annie Young came upon her in upper Lake Huron waters on a spring day in 1872.


The Marquette, laden with corn, developed a serious leak during some rough weather. Some thought the vessel struck a drifting log. The boat had three feet of water in the hold. The sailors could clearly hear the ominous sound of water rushing through the open wound in the hull.


The schooner's crew was busy taking turns operating the hand-operated bilge pump, but the water was gaining and it looked as if the vessel was going to be lost.


The Young took the Marquette in tow, steaming toward the nearby port of Cheboygan, Michigan. But nobody expected the luckless schooner to be saved. It was sinking fast.


Yet when the Young steamed into port, the schooner was still in tow, and still half afloat. What was strange was that the vessel didn't seem to be riding any lower in the water than when the Young first took it in tow.


The crew of the schooner was as perplexed about the fact that they were still afloat as everybody else. They said the noise of the water rushing into the hold stopped and the boat seemed to quit sinking shortly after the Young pulled the tow line taunt. How could this have happened?


Investigation revealed that a large fish was stuck in the hole in the hull. The fish plugged the leak and saved the Marquette.