Capt. William Kennedy

"In the fall of 1909 Capt. William Kennedy was appointed Master of the Jessie L. Smith. His crew were all Carbonear men. J. Keough, mate: E. Reid, Cook: D. Kennedy, Thomas Sweeney and R. Murphy. The ship loaded codfish for her owners, Crosbie & Company, and set sail for Gibraltar to await orders as to where the cargo was to be sold. Eventually she was ordered to Valencia, cargo discharged and the ship set sail for St. John's in ballast. Good time was made on the westward trip until they were at the edge of the Gulf Stream. The ship was continually buffeted by gales of northerly winds and heavy seas were continually boarding the gallant little craft. Everything moveable was washed overboard, including the ship's lifeboat, which was broken to pieces by the violent seas. The main topmast broke off at the cap and came tumbling down into the sea and luckily no one was injured. The ship's pumps were manned continuously as the crew fought desperately for their very lives.

After a week in a sinking condition, one of the crew sighted a steamer in the distance so three distress rockets were sent heavenwards, which were an­swered by the S. S. Newton, Capt. Williams. She bore down alongside the stricken fore-and-after, but Capt. Williams would rather effect the rescue in daylight, so he asked Capt. Kennedy could he hang on until morning to which he replied, he could. "Aye, Aye", came a voice over the dark waters and those on the frail craft rose a shout of thankfulness. Just as dawn ap­peared a lifeboat could be seen rising and falling on the waves. They plucked the crew of the Jessie L. Smith from certain death as the ship would not last another night. This ship was sailed by several Carbonear captains and was one of the smartest in the foreign trade. Capt. John P. Horwood took a great delight in the Jessie L. Smith. especially when the wind and sea were favourable for her to hoist all her huge spread of canvass. No doubt Capt.John P. lost the race with Capt. Charlie Moore in the Dictator, and it wasn't because he didn't sail the Jessie L. relentlessly when the going was

favourable. "

JESSIE L SMITH, 127 ton Schooner, built 1899 La Have, NS., reg. 1899 at Lunenburg (reg. # not given), official # 107646, closed - 11 Dec. 1909 - Foundered at Sea and was a Total Loss on 26 Feb. 1909. No other details given.

Sources Candian Ships Database; Frank Saunder's book Carbonear Sailing Vessels and their Crews