Captain Charles Carmichael

Section L, Lot 168
Toronto Necropolis

The steamer Bavarian, an iron boat of the Canadian Navigation Company’s line, left Toronto at the usual hour on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 5, 1873 bound for Montreal. There were six passengers on board, and the crew consisted of Captain Carmichael; John Henderson, first mate; Charles Bradley, second mate; L.A. McPherson, Purser, and twenty six men. Up till 8 o’clock when the steamer was about opposite Oshawa, all went well. Suddenly a cry of “Fire!” was heard, and almost instantaneously the Bavarian was wreathed in flames. There were three boats in the davits, one of which was immediately lowered by the pilot, who, with eight of the crew, jumped aboard of her, and pulled off. The second boat was pushed overboard, filled, and swamped. The third boat was pitched over in the same reckless fashion, and though dipping considerably righted, and was boarded by the first mate, and a dozen others. But the plug was out, and some precious moments passed before Mr. Henderson found the plug and fitted it in place. Meanwhile, floating on a plank, and with a life preserver around him the captain was seen paddling towards the boat, and was asked to wait a moment, till the water was bailed out. However, a boy who had scrambled on to the same plank, clambered into the mate’s boat, and the captain shoved off, apparently with the intention of making for the pilot’s boat; which was the last seen of him. Three women, all passengers, and eleven men died, including the captain; the engineer, Wm. Finucan; the steward, Wm. Spence; Mr. Weir, and seven other men. Captain Carmichael was well known on the lakes, having sailed in the Champion and Kingston for many years, and more recently on the Corinthian and Passport. He was 42 years old when he died.

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