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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: IF YOU CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chambers Bros. Fish Tug

Ok ... maybe I am dating myself as this photo is from July, 1968.  I am the kid in the grey sweatshirt in the front of the boat.  We are at the boat ramp in Saugatuck, MI about to go up the river.  My grandpa is getting us ready to go. 

In the background you see the Chambers Bros fish tug.  

Did this boat have historical significance to Saugatuck/Douglas?   I set out to research this on the internet.  Maybe it could be something for the Saugatuck/Douglas Historical Society.  http://sdhistoricalsociety.org/

I came across a web site about Fish Tugs of the Great Lakes.  Below is what I found out about the Chambers Bros boat ...

http://www.harveyhadland.com/pics145.htm

CHAMBERS BROS. 228149 A 52 ft. all-steel fish tug built by Sturgeon Bay Shipbuilding, in 1929, for Chambers Bros. Fishery, Kenosha, Wis; owned by Clifford Chambers, and then his son, Keith Chambers.

Equipped with a 60-70 hp. Kahlenberg oil engine, the boat was converted to trawling after the decline of the trout fishery. Sold to interests outside the fishery, the boat is presently at Milwaukee, renamed RECOVERY, and used for underwater research.

The Loss of the Wisconsin

In 1929 the large passenger/freight steamship S.S. Wisconsin foundered in heavy seas 5 miles off off Kenosha, Wisconsin. A distress wireless message was received by the Kenosha Coast Guard station asking for immediate assistance as the 450' ship was beginning to sink. The Coast Guard tried, but was unable to penetrate the huge seas with their lifeboat.

Clifford Chambers gathered a crew together and took the Chambers Bros. through the huge combers to the location where the Wisconsin had sunk. He maneuvered the tug to allow his crew to rescue many swimmers and survivors, taking them down to the boiler to revive them from the elements. His tug full, he returned to shore to discharge his hypothermic cargo. He then made two more round trips through the waves rescuing more survivors and retrieving many bodies.

In all, Cliff and the Chambers Bros. saved more than 30 from certain death. Many others perished and were washed ashore in the week that followed.
-Steve Ceskowski

A link to another version of the same account.  Nov. 3, 2012  http://www.kenoshanews.com/news/that_history_column_ss_wisconsin_went_down_off_kenosha_shore_83_years_ago_460368612.html

Looks like a noteworthy Fish Tug.  Another interesting site was    http://www.boatnerd.com/

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