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The final voyage of Haysport No. 2

Northern Ships and Shipping

Nauticapedia says that the motor schooner Haysport No. 2 was built in 1906 as the Roosevelt. She was 64 feet 5 inches long.

    Our introduction to this ship was the brief article that follows next, about a cargo of 50 tons of powder and combustibles headed for Yukon mines, that was probably lost.

The Whitehorse Star, Friday, February 20, 1925

Powder Boat Lost, 1925

    On January 13th, the Motor ship Hayesport No. 2 left Victoria with a cargo of 50 tons of powder and combustibles, the bulk of which was consigned to the Treadwell Yukon Co. and the Engineer Mine.

    Anxiety as to her whereabouts has been felt for the past two weeks but it had been impossible to get any information until Tuesday morning, when a wire was received by Mr. Phelps stating that some cases of gasoline marked M. Watson, Carcross, had been found floating in Milbank Sound and it is believed that the Motor Ship was lost.

    A duplicate shipment of powder is being made on the Nebesna leaving the Coast on February 18th. The Yukon-Treadwell Caterpillars which arrived this week, will wait here for the Nebesna cargo.

    No word is available as to the personnel of the crew, but it is sincerely hoped that in some manner they may have escaped death in the icy waters of Milbank Sound.

    Unable to find anything else about "Hayesport No. 2," we searched for "powder boat", and found her with the spelling "Haysport No. 2." From there we were able to build a proper story of her final voyage, which follows.

The Vancouver Province, Thursday, January 22, 1925

    Development work last fall in the mines in the vicinity of Mayo, in the Yukon, was so promising that a more vigorous campaign which has been planned has necessitated the shipment of more powder into the district over the snow. This accounts for the departure of the motor schooner Haysport II, for Skagway with a cargo of 2000 cases of explosives from the powder plants of James Island and Nanoose Bay.

    The vessel is under charter to M. P. Olson, who formerly operated mining property in the Allee Arm district. The powder is for the Engineer mine, in the Atlin district, and the Tredwell-Yukon Company, which is operating on Keno Hill, Mayo district. The cargo will be taken on the White Pass & Yukon to Whitehorse, where tractors will receive it for transport into the Mayo district.

The Vancouver Province, Monday, February 16, 1925

Wreckage of Powder Boat is Located, 1925

    Wreckage picked up near Ivory Island on February 1 adds foundation to the fear that the auxiliary schooner Haysport No. 2 has been sunk, and her crew lost in Millbank Sound. Anxiety has been felt for the safety of the vessel and those on board for some days. She is long overdue at Skagway where she was bound with a cargo of dynamite and gasoline for mines in the Yukon.


    The ship was manned by a Vancouver crew. Her master was Captain R. W. Parkington of Hollyburn, at one time master of one of the West Vancouver ferries. Her mate was Mr. M. G. Addison of 600 Alexander street, also well known in marine circles here. L. P. Polley, a Vancouver lad, was engineer. The fourth member of the crew was W. D. Wood, able seaman, of this city.

    The vessel sailed for the north from Nanoose Bay on January 20 with a very heavy cargo, and was reported as sighted in Queen Charlotte Sound a few days later by the Canadian Pacific Skagway steamer Princess Mary. On January 25 she was reported passing Namu but has not been heard from since. The finding of part of her deck-load, adrift near Ivory Island, indicates that she was lost, though it is possible the deckload was jettisoned in a storm and the vessel is wrecked on some isolated island or stretch of mainland coast. The latter two possibilities are, however, not looked upon as very likely.


    The provincial police at Prince Rupert express the belief that vessel and men are lost. The force has been searching for the Haysport No. 2 for several days, it is reported.

    Skagway has been enquiring for it, also, and coast shipping, operating on the lanes between here and Prince Rupert, has been keeping a special watch to try and locate her if she is afloat.

    The ship, It is understood, is owned by the Pacific Coast Freighters of Vancouver. She was formerly owned in New Westminster. Built at Seattle and launched in 1906 she was used in fishing operations north of Prince Rupert for some time, then was acquired here and operated as a rum-runner until the government regulations regarding tonnage were altered and shut her out of the deepsea running as she was under the tonnage specified.

    The weather at the time the vessel was last sighted was very bad. It was just the time when all shipping on the coast was battling with terrific gales and a number of ships suffered injury.

    The cargo, which was valued at $25,000, was fully insured.

The Vancouver Evening Sun, Monday, February 16, 1925

Part of Haysport Il Cargo Drifts Ashore


    Richard W. Parkington (capt.), Hollyburn.

    L. P. Polley (engineer), 1268 Alberni street.

    M. G. Addison (mate), 500 Alexander street (Vancouver Sailors' Home).

    W. D. Wood (able seaman), 500 Alexander street (Vancouver Sailors' Home).

    With all hands (a crew of four local men) the schooner Haysport II is conceded by patrol boat officials to have gone to the bottom in Millbank Sound.

    The Haysport II. is a schooner of a little less than 20 tons and while registered at New Westminster in the name of H. L. Higgin, has been operating out of here for more than a year in the liquor carrying trade.

    In January, P. Olson of this city, chartered the boat to carry a cargo of dynamite and gasoline to Skagway.

    Loaded down until her decks were almost awash, the Haysport II. cleared from Nanoose, B. C., January 20. Several days later this ship was reported past Namu and near Bella Bella, but from there all trace of her was lost.

    As time went by and reports from Hecate Strait points failed to give any information of her being in those waters Mr. Olson asked the Canadian Government patrol boats to look for the ship.


    The Canadian Government coast steamers operating to Prince Rupert were also asked to get in touch with the Haysport II and report her position, if possible, as the little ship had no wireless equipment.

    All boats north and south joined in the search and the first report came from Ivory Island, Millbank Sound, where some cases of gasoline and a little deck cargo were washed ashore. The cases were marked Carcross, in a similar way to the goods shipped on the Haysport II and little hope is entertained by the crews of the boats that are searching for the lost boat.


    Seldom are the waters of Millbank Sound peaceful and it is feared that the ship failed to make the passage on that waterway.

    The condition of the cargo picked up does not indicate that an explosion took place, and ships officers believe that the boat went down because of rough weather.

    Owners of the boat associated with Mr. Higgin claim that the boat had every possible life saving class of equipment aboard, as this precaution was necessary when the boat was in the liquor carrying trade, and it is possible the men used the life belts and boat to make shore. There were twenty lifebelts on the boat and the lifeboat was in good condition, while flares such as are used by rum runners were plentiful and might have been used to call assistance.

    The owners think the men may have reached shore and may be awaiting assistance from the outside world.

    Insurance was carried on the cargo and about 60 per cent of the value of the ship was covered.

    Owners of the boat made a bare boat charter of the ship, the crew being placed aboard by the charterers.

The Vancouver Province, Tuesday, February 17, 1925

    In an effort to find the crew of the auxiliary schooner Haysport No. 2, which is believed to have foundered in Millbank Sound, boats are now scouring the islands and inlets in the vicinity, according to officials of the Pacific Coast Freighters, the owners of the missing vessel.

    The government patrol boat, Malaspina, is searching the shore of Ivory Island and other places in the vicinity in hopes of finding Capt. R. W. Parkington and his crew of three. Arrangements are being made to have several boats go out from Swanson Bay to assist the Malaspina, and it is believed that other vessels in that neighborhood are joining the search fleet.

    The Haysport No. 2 was bound for Skagway with a load of dynamite and gasoline and is long overdue.

    Wreckage picked up near Ivory Island on February 1 adds to the fear that the vessel has been sunk. The last time she was sighted she was in very bad weather, and was just at the time when all shipping on the coast was battling with terrific gales in which a number of boats suffered injury.

    Officials of the Pacific Coast freighters have stated that every effort will be made to find if the Haysport No. 2 is still afloat. Failing this, every possible means will be made to find the members of the crew.

    Her mate, Mr. G. Addison, 500 Alexander street, was formerly with the Canadian Government Merchant Marine, and W. D. Wood, able seaman, was at one time a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.

The Vancouver Province, Tuesday, February 17, 1925

    The tragedy, which it is feared has overtaken the schooner Haysport No. 2 and her crew, is another illustration of the need there is for changes in the Canada Shipping Act, according to officers of the Canadian Merchant Service Guild. Under the present law no vessel under eighty tons need register its crew with the shipping master.

    Had this regulation been observed the names of the crew of the Haysport No. 2 might never have been known. Captain Parkington voluntarily registered his crew, however, and the shipping master took the registration. It is on account of this action of the captain that it has been possible to learn who was on board the ship, say guild officials.

    This voluntary registration of crews of vessels of less than eighty tons is followed to a certain extent by masters here and is encouraged, but there are many vessels that do not register, and it is sald there are many instances where men have been lost and no knowledge obtained of the tragedy for a long time afterwards.

    It is pointed out that while every pound of freight which leaves Vancouver must be registered, and must pay its dues, there should be a similar registration - but free of charge - of all men employed on any vessel which carries a certificated officer, regardless of whether the vessel is under eighty tons or not.

The Vancouver Province, Tuesday, October 27, 1925

    What may prove to be a message from men who died at sea nearly a year ago, was picked up off Wark Island, Graham Reach, October 24. Mr. D. Cordilla of Butedale, while in Graham Reach, found a bottle containing a written message purporting to come from the lost coaster Haysport No. 2, which disappeared with all hands in Millbank Sound during a storm on January 28, 1925.

    The ship Was proceeding north with a cargo of explosives for one of the northern mines, with four men on board, Captain Partington, Mate Addison, Engineer Polley and a deckhand named Wood. She was last sighted in the storm, heading to sea. Later some wreckage was picked up, but no sign of the ship herself. And none of the bodies of those on board were ever recovered.

    Mr. Cordilla reports that the note read: "We are wrecked at Millbank Sound. No escape from drowning. Signed, Steamer Haysport."

    The note is in possession of The Province, and it is hoped that someone may be able to identify the handwriting and thus prove its authenticity.

The Vancouver Province, Thursday, September 23, 1926

    Liquor running off the California coast was mentioned in Supreme Court on Wednesday by Olie Telefson, Norwegian marine architect, who was engineer of the auxillary schooner Haysport No. 2 two years ago. Mr. Justice W. A. Macdonald is enquiring into the loss of the schooner, at the suit of Pacific Coast Freighters Limited, which claims $5000 on two $2500 marine policies from Westchester Fire Insurance Company of New York and from the Western Assurance Company.

    The evidence was introduced when Telefson testified regarding the vessel's cargo-carrying capacity.

    The insurance companies are disputing liability on the grounds that the Haysport No. 2, when she left James Island with a cargo of explosives for Skagway, was overladen and was unseaworthy.

    In support of this contention John Gold, marine surveyor, Vancouver, has testifled that the schooner's capacity was 53 tons. He estimated that the weight of the cargo, when she departed on her last voyage, was 74 tons.


    It is surmised that the Haysport No. 2 foundered in Millbank Sound during a snowstorm between January 25 and 31, 1925. Her crew of four men, including Captain J. N. Partington, perished.

    Telefson declared tho vessel's capacity was 80 tons, and he explained how he arrived at this measurement. He was subjected to a close cross-examination by Mr. E. C. Mayers, counsel for defendants, who has obtained an adjournment of the trial until Friday for the purpose of investigating Telefson's calculations,

    Mr. A. Alexander, counsel for Pacific Coast Freighters, questioned witness about a trip which he made as chief engineer in the Haysport No. 2 about two years ago.

    The evidence disclosed that the schooner left here with a cargo of oil and met a "mother" ship, laden with liquor, off the California coast, north of the Farallone Islands, where cases of whisky were transferred to the smaller vessel. The latter then proceeded to a point north, in the United States, where she discharged the liquor.


    The plaintiff's counsel endeavored to elucidate details of the cargo which the Haysport No. 2 carried on that occasion for purposes of comparison with the load of explosives. Telefson's recollection, however, was hazy on the point and he did not remember the number of cases of liquor.

    Captain A. H. Reed, commander R.N.R., harbor master, Vancouver, testifying for plaintiff, expressed the opinion that the Haysport No. 2 could carry about elghty tons and would not be unseaworthy, even though her deck was awash at midships.

    He explained that mariners classed the schooner as a "wet ship," and to emphasize his belief that she was not endangered when she proceeded north with the cargo of explosives, he stated that he would have been willing to have travelled on her.

The Vancouver Province, Thursday, October 14, 1926

    Rejecting all defenses pleaded by Westchester Fire Insurance Company of New York and by the Western Assurance Company, Mr. Justice W. A. Macdonald in Supreme Court awarded Pacific Coast Freighters Limited judgment against them for $5000 on two $2500 policies insuring the auxiliary schooner Haysport No. 2 against loss.

    Chartered from plaintiff by Magnus P. Olsen, the Haysport No. 2 left Nanoose Bay on January 20, 1925, for Skagway with a cargo of dynamite. She called at Bella Bella, near Millbank Sound, and after resuming her voyage was never heard of again.

    The vessel foundered in Millbank Sound during a snowstorm, it is believed. Wreckage was found on Price and Cone Islands; and a sealed bottle, containing a message, signed by Captain J. N. Partington, skipper: "We are wrecked in Millbank Sound," was picked up on Graham Beach.


    Defendants contended that the Haysport No. 2 was unseaworthy because of alleged overloading.

    "It is unreasonable for the owner of a vessel, given a charter in the ordinary way and then insured his property, to have his right of recovery destroyed through the charterer, who has received the vessel in a seaworthy condition, rendering it, without the knowledge or privity of the owner, unseaworthy by the manner in which the vessel was loaded," remarked Mr. Justice Macdonald on this issue.

    The question whether the ship was overloaded did not affect the plaintiff's right to recover on the policies, he stated. Defendants failed, in his opinion, to show cause for relief, he said.

    It was a test action, there being other insurance. The Haysport No. 2 was valued at $12,000.


    In addition to awarding plaintiff judgment against each defendant for $2500, his lordship ordered defendant to pay interest at the rate of 5 per cent. per annum from February 22, 1925. The policies extend from January 22, 1925, to February 22, 1925.

    Mr. A. Alexander was counsel for plaintiff and Mr. E. C. Mayers for defendants.