The Corinthian was a fishing trawler with a crew of 11 people. It was foggy on September 22, 1949 when a freighter, the Mormacfir, sliced it in half. It sank within a minute and six crew members were lost. The Mormacfir had been sounding single horn blasts to indicate forward progression while the Corinthian blew dual horn blasts to indicate a stationary position. Despite all the Corinthian’s lights being on, the Mormacfir — which did not have radar — did not see the Corinthian until it was too late. The horn blasts were only heard within minutes of the crash occurring and within less than three minutes after the crash, the Mormacfir had disappeared into the fog again. It took over an hour for the Mormacfir to come around to pick up the survivors, who were left hanging on to debris and life rings in a heavy ground swell.
Tragically, the survivors were unable to help the victims. When he realized that a crash was imminent, the captain called to the two engineers, who were down below, to come up to the deck. But they, along with the cook, who was also below deck, had not time to escape. 68-year old George Hemeon, the captain’s father, was hurt in the crash and called for help. But the others weren’t able to get to him before they all ended up in the water. His grandson, Jerome Noble Jr, 25 years old, was able to reach him and hold him up for 15 minutes, but Hemeon was already dead.
Corinthian Torn in Two by Freighter, According to Crew, Sept 22, 1949.
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