The Postcard View Of A Ship “Stuck On The Rocks” - The Exciting Conclusion Of The Story of (Friday, November 20th 2020).
The Letitia was now grounded on the rocks in Portuguese Cove Harbour, Halifax Nova Scotia.
A good decision, the Captain’s call for help resulted in an immediate response from everyone.
Nurses, doctors, police, firefighters, rescue boats, buses and trucks. Individual wagons transporting supplies, including food.
It is important to note, that the Canadian Military played a key role in this remarkable rescue.
The main focus here was to get the 546 wounded Canadian soldiers off the Letitia for medical aide, hospitalization and safety.
Now we have to “pause” here for a moment. and give serious thought to how this was going to unravel, the logistics let’s say.
Soldiers? Crew? Everyone involved.
What about the potential for a “traffic jam” of pilot boats, or even other boats? What if there were more rocks?
Don’t forget all of the medical equipment involved, (wheel chairs, roll away hospital beds, medicine, surgical instruments, apparatus to transport the wounded soldiers, ramps etc).
Did you know there were 12 nurses, 174 medical staff as well as 137 crew members on the Letitia?
That is a lot of personel to get off board a hospital ship, with the intent to “abandon ship, abandon ship”, which had to have been on the minds of those in this crisis situation.
A remarkable rescue for all was the result. Or was it?
The Captain and crew stayed until the next morning until the ship started to “list”, and over time the Letitia then broke in half.
A remarkable rescue resulted, for all but one............
So who was the one?
A “stoker”. This actual crew member was forgotten, yes I said forgotten! How does that happen?
With his attempt to swim to safety. Unfortunately he didn’t make it, a fatality.
A sad ending, but there’s more to this story and it all started by looking at a postcard.
At the inquiry, the Captain testified that he had total confidence, and trusted the Pilot to guide the Letitia safely into harbour.
The Pilot was the expert and responsible for all the buoy’s location and so forth. so I guess you call that “pilot error”.
The end result, the pilot was found guilty and determined to be in “gross error”. He was then demoted.
That’s it. Demoted. Yes demoted.
Did I get that right?
What about the Captain?
I didn’t tell you before, but the Captain previously guided the Letitia nine (9) times safely into Portuguese Cove, Nova Scotia.
It’s all about the dense fog right?
But, there’s more to the postcard image and story, of a ship stuck on the rocks.
The wreck of the Letitia now rests at the bottom of a Halifax
On a sunny day, parts of it are visible to the naked eye.
Now get this?
A number of the crew members of the Letitia, were redeployed to the ship “S.S. Athenia”. This particular ship was unfortunately torpedoed just 16 days after the sinking of the Letitia.
There were no survivors.
Now The Good News.
If you recall, I mention the postcard “Letitia” was in an estate collection.
Now, the Letitia postcard, is available on our Website at $50.00 CAD.
Enter, Letitia, into search and it will appear.
First Come First Service.