Among The Islands, August 28

Bayfield County Press, August 28, 1941

Men Stranded On Island

Five men and a boy were rescued off Ironwood Island, 18 miles north of Bayfield, last Tuesday by skipper Lyman Nourse and his assistant Larry Ryan, who noticed distress signals en route with the boat Disturbance on a trolling trip that morning. The men rescued included [residents of Rhinelander and Tomahawk, WI]. They had been marooned since Sunday when their small 24-foot launch was blown on the rocks in a heavy northeaster.

According to reports of the men they had left Hadland’s dock in Bayfield about four o’clock Sunday p.m. and were heading for their fishing shack on Cat Island. As they approached their destination the waves became more severe and the boat started to take water. Engine trouble developed and they were forced to make for Ironwood Island which they almost reached before the motor quit entirely. Being without an anchor the boat was blown directly into the rocks. The group managed to climb off and make their way ashore but most of their food was lost.

The uninhabited island afforded little shelter from the wind and rain but the group managed to keep fires burning to aid in their warmth and comfort. On Monday the storm became more severe and none of the Bayfield trolling boats made their usual trips. Monday evening, however, the men reported that two boats passed the island and noticed their flashlight signals. After circling past the spot the boats continued on their course, apparently unable to attempt a rescue in the storm.

Tuesday morning the men built four large fires for the purpose of attempting signals. The storm had subsided somewhat but the sea was still choppy when Nourse sighted the fires. It was impossible to land the Disturbance and the men were forced to wade to their necks before they could be taken aboard. The Disturbance then took the men to their Cat Island cabin where they remained until Mr. Nourse had completed his trolling trip. He then picked them up again and brought them to Bayfield.

The extent of damage to the boat is little known at last reports, but it is expected that the craft is a total wreck. The boat was brought here three years ago by the owner and was poorly equipped for service on Lake Superior.

And in other news, congratulations to veteran Raspberry Island Keeper Lee Benton and his lovely bride Bess Grimm, married this date in 1923.

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