The schooner named Mary M Beldin ran aground on the rocks in Church Cove along the Southern Shore of Newfoundland on Saturday, November 29th, 1930. Four fishermen, brothers George and William Croft, and George’s sons, James and Bernard, were sailing home to Aquaforte. The sailors departed St. John’s at 2 AM with clear weather that persisted until around 5 AM when it began to snow with winds coming in from the north-east. The weather continued to deteriorate and at approximately 7:30 AM they reefed the mainsail and foresail and took in the jib. They hauled in for Cape Broyle around 8 AM. The crew fought with frozen sails in attempts to control the vessel and keep her heading in the right direction. Tragically the Mary M Beldin was struck amidships by the waves and keeled over. It was then struck by another wave, throwing all hands into the frigid sea. James tried to save his Uncle George but, unfortunately, both perished that night. Bernard freed himself from the wreckage of the Mary M Beldin and got into a dory. He grabbed his father by the collar and got him into the boat. The father and son managed to get the dory free, but it only had one oar in it, forcing them to drift into Church Cove. They climbed the cliffs on the shore and walked through several kilometres of hills and forests to reach the north side of Calvert, a local fishing community, where they were finally able to find help.
This information has been sourced from the information provided in Randy Crane’s music video, including the sworn statement of William Croft from the inquiry into the loss of the Mary M Beldin, and an interview conducted with Randy Crane.
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