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The Wreck and Heroics of the SS Ethie in Gros Morne National Park

June 25, 2022

The Heroism of the SS Ethie

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This is a story of heroism of humans and a very famous Newfoundland dog. You couldn't make this stuff up!

.................... SS Ethie was a steamship that was tasked with bringing freight, mail, and passengers up and down the Great Northern Peninsula and the Labrador Strait. On December 11th, 1919, the boat was surprised by a gale while making the journey from Daniel’s Harbour to Cow Head. The ship eventually ran aground at Martin’s Point, South of Cow Head. What makes this wreck different than most is that nobody perished. Not a soul aboard her. Largely due to citizens of Martin’s Point, and the crew aboard the SS Ethie, led by the heroic Captain English. From this wreck came one of many longstanding folktales about the Newfoundland dog. Rumour has it that a dog took a mailbag to shore with a very special delivery inside — an infant. This folktale, while intriguing, was later proved false. The baby was saved by the quick thinking of the ship’s young Purser, Walter Young. Each year, the Gros Morne Theatre Festival in Cow Head offers a retelling of this tale in their dinner theatre entitled The Wreck of The SS Ethie. 

A Winch or Powered Capstan?

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Part of the Crankshaft?

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A Winch?

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