Response to the criticism of the Life Saving Station Keeper.
"ANOTHER GAZER" SPEAKS.
Alcona, December 11, 1877.
Mr. Editor.--Dear Sir: Seeing in your "Review" of December 7th, a short lecture, or rather public lecture in form, to the L. S. S. Keeper at Sturgeon Point, and being myself an eye-witness of the occurrence of the wreck of the schooner Monterey, and the attendant circumstances of the arrival of the life boat from the Station, and its attempt to get to the wreck; and believing, in my own mind, that there must be some misunderstanding, or private malice or enmity on the part of the author of the aforesaid epistle signed "Gazer," and, wishing to have both sides of the question seen and examined, that people unacquainted with the occurrence may have a fair opportunity for comparing the same--hence the following note of explanation, which I trust may be looked upon with as much favor as the former one:
I was at Black River at the time of the wreck of the Monterey. Saw the arrival of the life boat, together with the keeper and the crew of the same, who, upon their arrival, made speedy preparations for the rescue. They launched the boat in the river, as a better place than the lake shore, on account of the heavy sea rolling on the beach. They at last, with the greatest difficulty (owing to the very heavy sea and current), got clear of the dock and proceeded toward the wreck, although making but very slow headway through the sea, until they came to the reef, about sixty rods wide, covered by about three or four feet of water, and across which they would have to cross to get to the wreck. And common sense tells any man, who knows anything about boating, that the boat would have been on the rocky bottom most of the time, or more probably stove to pieces, as the breakers would, at times, when rising, leave the rocks out of water. To row around the reef was equally as impossible, as they pulled for upwards of half an hour dead against it, but could but just hold their own with the sea. Finding it impossible thus to reach the wreck, they 'pulled for the shore,' and were caught between the cross currents of the river and lake and, in spite of their efforts to prevent it, were hurled against the pier. This I did not think the fault of Keeper or crew; moreover, I do not think there was one man among us that envied their position. The boat and crew were a complete sheet of ice wherever water had touched, which was pretty much all over them; and I don't see why such men have not feelings as well as any others, and why, on landing and being conducted to a warm fire, they should refuse to go, although it seems to have created some disapprobation because they did go. I was there when the L. S. S. Keeper was asked for a wagon, which was granted; the team he did not own, and consequently could not control. I also heard him say he could and would steer the boat to the wreck if any five men in America could pull her there; that he believed he had as good a crew as he could find, and that they did all they could. I was then absent for some time, perhaps half an hour. When next I saw the L. S. S. Keeper he was returning from the beach south of Black River, where he said he was going to make another attempt to reach the wreck, which he did; but on bringing boat on the beach for that purpose, he found the crew of the Monterey landed to leeward of the vessel--having lashed plank together and towed behind the yawl to break the sea off the boat. I also heard the Captain of the Monterey say that the L. S. S. crew did all they could for them under the circumstances. We then all went our way rejoicing.
I am very sorry to think there are people so very willing to pick out any thing they can to injure their fellow men. If a man does not succeed at first, though perhaps through no particular fault of his, kick him down always; never try to help him, but give him a push further down.
Thanking you, Mr. Editor, for your kindness in printing this, I remain