1951 Barbara & Ronnie

The name of this ship has many variations, but according to several sources, the proper name is the Barbara & Ronnie. The 46-foot fishing boat was built in 1944 and owned and operated by Walter Bond of Petites, NL. In 1951, Bond and his five-member crew were fishing off of Cape Breton, a typical fall activity for Newfoundland fishermen. In December, they were ready to return home for Christmas. They picked up a passenger heading to Newfoundland as well. They left Glace Bay, NS, on December 17. Unfortunately, they were likely unaware of a storm warning issued on December 18. Although many other ships were also travelling at the same time, most either sought shelter or avoided the storm’s main path. The Barbara & Ronnie was caught by gale-force winds probably about 20 miles from Newfoundland close to midnight on December 18. No one knows exactly what happened: the boat simply went missing and a search recovered no bodies.

By all accounts, Walter Bond was well-respected and a cautious fisherman. The lost crew and passenger are:

Walter Bond (37), Petites
Russell Billard (22), Grand Bruit
Richard Gosse (18), Petites
Kenneth Courtney (27), Petites
Charlie Courtney (19), Petites
Thomas Bennett (33), Petites
Sandy Ward Mauger (24), Petites



Vautier, Clarence. 2002. The Coast of Newfoundland: The Southwest Corner. St. John’s, NL: Flanker Press.

Additional Source:

Northern Shipwrecks Database


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