1852 Petty Harbour Bait Skiff

On June 8, 1852 a bait skiff, whose name has been lost to time, was returning from Conception Bay after the spring fishing season. The ship was caught in a squall within sight of Petty Harbour. Unable to do anything to help, the people on the shore watched in horror as the ship sank. Then a man named Jacob Chafe launched his boat, defying the violent winds. Jacob was later memorialized as the “Hero Brave” in the disaster song “The Petty Harbour Bait Skiff” for saving the sole survivor of the wreck, a young man, believed to have been named Menchington, who clung to the mast until Jacob Chafe arrived.


Chafe, Glenn. n.d. “Chafe Lineage in Canada,” Chafe Tree. Accessed September 9, 2020.

Rollmann, Hans. 2011. “A 21st century betrayal,” The Independent   


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