What is the Death Defying History of Niagara Scow?

About a century ago, Niagara Falls tours from Toronto have played a host to a daring rescue.  Two men have teetered on edge of death while fighting the forces of nature. The dangerous incident with a legendary rescue had been witnessed by several people in 1918. This is a common story that you will get to hear in the Niagara Falls area. As a matter of fact, evidence of the incident sits along the Niagara Falls.

In this blog we are going to talk about the true history behind the Niagara Scow.

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6th August, 1918

On a summer afternoon, a steel-bottom sand barge was sailing on Niagara River. A barge is also known as the scow. This is a flat bottom vessel that is attached to the tugboat. The Captain John Wallace and his crew met with intense current around 1 mile upriver and had broken loose of the tug. It swayed out of control and made its way towards the Horseshoe Fall. Two crew members James and Gustav were stuck aboard the scow as it had been inched closer to the edge.

The Narrow Escape of James and Gustav

Gustav Lofberg and James Henry Harris felt extremely terrorized and panic as they sat on the scow. While they headed towards the mighty Horseshoe Falls, they could do nothing but watch and hope. Several people had gathered to watch the barge making its way through the rapids of the Niagara Falls tours from Toronto River. However, nobody could help out the man to escape. He heavy barge had been out of control and the perimeter had been blocked by the World War security measures  which had been designed to protect the power station of Niagara Falls that you can see on your Niagara Falls tours from Toronto. Onlookers could simply stand behind the barbed wired and guards and watch while men inched towards a horrifying drop.

About half a mile from the edge of Horseshoe Gall, the horror of the crowd turned to relief as the scow grounded on a rocky shoal.  James and Gustav hurried to land the rock shoal in the middle off the torrents of the water. There wasn’t an easy way to rescue the crew for reaching out to the beach men.

The Rescue

James and Gustav were decided to get ashore but the options had been pretty limited. Being desperate, they started ripping out timbers from the inner portion of the barge. This created a windlass.

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The men hoped that the rescue crews of the Niagara Falls tours from Toronto could somehow reach out to the rope line to the perch from the shore.  This was a risky proposition. The windlass was far from being reliable and it had not been tested. In case the boat was to be dislodged from this rock prior to being secured to the rope properly, the men is going to risk a potentially fatal descent from the Horseshoe Fall. It was almost nightfall when the rope made its way towards the two men. The windlass had been pretty successful in moving the scow for securing the breeches buoy in between the power plant and the watercraft.

However, for Loftberg and Harris, the attempt had been unsuccessful. The rescuers agreed that it was too dark to be fixed. Hence, it was delayed until morning.

If you want to know about the incident, you should visit Niagara Falls through Niagara Falls tours from Toronto.