Wednesday, October 13, 2021

16 Lost in Sea Collision -- October 13, 2021

Albuquerque Morning Journal, 10-October-1921

The steamer SS Rowan was carrying passengers from Glasgow to Dublin. Among the passengers were the members of Will Marion Cooke's Southern Syncopated Orchestra, which had been touring Europe since 1921. Sidney Bechet was a member of the orchestra. When the surviving musicians returned to Glasgow, theaters held benefits for them so they could buy new instruments. Note some of the other featured stories:
-- The Giants beat the Yankees 4-2 to tie the World Series at two games each. The Giants went on to win the series.
-- The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition found a route that could be exploited in the future to reach the top of the mountain.
-- "Mistake Doctor For a Bear; Is Shot, Wounded"

Laird Line Vessel Collides
With the West Camak
and Is Rammed By a Vessel
Going to Her Rescue.

Aboard the Sunken Ship
Was the American Southern
Syncopated Orchestra, Composed of Negroes.

(By The Associated Press)
Belfast, Oct. 9 (by the Associated Press.) --
Damaged by one vessel in a dense fog off the southwest coast of Scotland and then sunk by another coming to its aid, was the fate early this morning of the Laird Line steamer Rowan, plying between Glasgow and Dublin. Thirteen of the Rowan's crew and three passengers are missing. Two passengers died after being rescued by vessels which responded to the wireless S. O. S. call.

An official statement says that the Rowan carried ninety-three persons, including the crew, seventy-seven or whom are accounted for by the four vessels which went to the Rowan's assistance.

Aboard the Rowan was the American Southern Syncopated orchestra, composed largely of colored players, who had been touring this side of the water since 1919.

One of the men who died after being taken out of the sea was Pete Robinson, the drummer of the orchestra.

The accident was due to a double collision in the North Channel, off Corsewall Point. The Rowan first collided with the American steamer West Camak, both of them being damaged. The West Camak stood by with forepeak full of water, meanwhile sending out wireless calls for aid. The Clan Liner, Clan Malcom, responded but in the confusion due to the heavy fog ran into the disabled Rowan, which sank immediately.

The West Camak helped in the rescue work, afterward putting into Glasgow with twenty-six survivors. Captain Donald Brown, of Glasgow, is reported to have gone down with the Rowan. Three other Vessels also answered the call and completed the work of rescue, as far as was possible. The Clan Malcolm, which rammed the Rowan amidships, was damaged slightly.

The Syncopated orchestra, which went to London in June, 1919, gave performances there and vicinity until two months ago, when they made a tour of Scotland.


Portland. Ore., Oct. 9. -- The steamer West Camak was in the service of the European-Pacific line, operating between ports on the Pacific coast and Europe She left here August 3 last and took on grain and a general cargo at several other Pacific ports before continuing her voyage to Liverpool and Glasgow.


Dublin, Oct. 9. -- Eighteen members of an American "syncopated orchestra" are reported to bo missing as a result of the sinking of the Laird line steamer Rowan off the southwest coast of Scotland in collision with the American steamer West Camak.

The passengers and crew of the Rowan numbered 140, Although details are lacking, it is known that seventy-three of this number were rescued.

The accident was due to a double collision in the North channel off Corsewall Point early this morning, the Rowan first colliding with the West Camak, which she damaged badly.

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