Trinity Bay Disaster



Back in eighteen ninety-two, there was a story to unfold:
The Trinity Bay disaster and the men caught in the cold;
From mid-week on till friday there were several seals brought in,
Rumors of the herds out there, excitement stirred within.

Early saturday morning, with the sky so clear and fair,
Everything seemed favourable for a successful day out there;
Hunters came from Green Bay, around to Irelands Eye,
Robin Hood to Salmon Cove, English Harbour heard the cry.

Some men came from Trouty, Bonaventure and Thoroughfare,
Boats were on the water, Deer Harbour’s men were there;
Some folks were mighty anxious, many were not equipped,
Not much food or clothing, it seemed a real short trip.

The breeze was blowing gently, the sea was smooth and calm,
The echo of a gunshot heard early in the morn;
It looked to be a great day as families waved goodbye,
And wished their loved ones great success, not a teardrop in the eye.

Seals were falling everywhere, there’d be food to put in store,
Ice pads floating in the bay, and not one thought of shore;
A little after mid-morn, at about ten forty-five,
Waves whipped at the dory’s, men feared they might capsize.

The wind gained speed, t’was mighty cold, the boats began to drift,
Horse Chops wasn’t far away, but the sea would not forgive;
Fear spread fast throughout the boats, men grabbed for every oar,
It was a matter of survival, they had to make the shore.

Water sprayed on every one, freezing as it fell,
The skippers knew this one was bad, it wasn’t hard to tell;
Broken oars and panic, some men even cried,
One fell from exhaustion, and shortly after died.

Fearing the boat was going to swamp, and all souls might be lost,
They committed the body to the sea and the angry waves that tossed;
Four hours had passed as the nor’easter blew, the second man had died,
He was the brother of the first that was committed o’er the side.

The angry sea was foaming, the gale was blowing strong,
The Horse Chops lay straight ahead, but it seemed so very long;
After five long hours some reached the land, a pitiful site to see,
Bob Bannister could not get up, he stayed on hands and knees.

The last thing he uttered before he was to fall,
With tears in his eyes and a frozen face, he cried, “God bless us all!”
Two hundred men were caught in the storm, where thirteen of them died,
Eleven men still missing not a chance they could survive/

This is a song that must be sung, The Brave Men Of The Sea,
Trying to make a living for a family they must feed;
Newfoundlanders know the danger, they live it all the while,
And when they head on out to sea they always leave a smile.

To say you’re from the Rock is an honour to behold,
Where pride and friendship are joined as one, and every heart is gold;
The sea can give you everything and as fast take it away,
God bless the grieving families that live in Trinity Bay.


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