Five Drowned At Newport Saturday

Huge Wave Capsizes Fishing Sloop Throwing Occupants Into the Ocean.


Forest Wooster, 15-year Old Son of Levi Wooster Was One of Men Drowned.

While attempting to cross the bar at Yaquina bay at 5 o’clock Saturday evening, the fishing sloop Pilgrim was hit by a huge wave and capsized, throwing its five passengers into the water where they were drowned. Those drowned are: J.W. McKenzie, captain; Claude Toner, owner of the craft; Tarld Telefson, Forest Wooster, and Michael Henry. News of the terrible disaster reached Newport shortly after the accident occurred and the life-saving crew responded at once, crossing out to the south beach where after a hard battle with the waves they managed to make a line fast to the sloop and brought here to shore. All that was found in the boat was a hat, coat, and a sweater. The beach was patroled [sic] all night Saturday and yesterday in the hope that the bodies would be washed ashore but all attempts to find any of the bodies have so far been without avail.

Forest Wooster, one of the occupants of the ill-fated sloop, is the 15-year-old son of Levi Wooster, a brakeman on the Corvallis & Eastern railway, who resided in Albany for several years until recently when he accepted a position as brakeman with the Portland, Eugene & Eastern and moved to Corvallis to reside. Forest Wooster was well known to the young men of this city and was employed all summer as news agent on the trains between this city and Newport.

His courteous manner and accommodating ways while acting as news agent on the trains between this city and the summer resort made him many friends and anyone who journeyed to the beach during the early part of the summer will remember the clean cut young chap who sold fruit and other delicacies to the passengers on the excursion trains. He was an ambitious youngster and well liked by all those who knew him.

His father, Levi Wooster, who is well known here, was at Monroe when news of the disaster at Newport reached him, and a special car was sent after him. He reached Corvallis Saturday evening and left on the excursion train Sunday morning for Newport. Besides his father, the young man leaves to mourn his death a sister, Mrs. Edna Galloway, who was in Albany when the news of her brother’s death reached her. She left for Newport yesterday morning.

The “Pilgrim,” the boat which was capsized, was a new craft and was returning Saturday evening from her third trip to the sea, having been recently built for the halibut trade. She was 43 feet long, of 11 ½ beam, and rigged with a 24-horsepower engine and had a carrying capacity of 14 tons.

Claude Toner, who was also among the drowned at Newport Saturday evening, was a son of William Toner of Yaquina, who was for many years express messenger for the Wells-Fargo company between Albany and Yaquina and who was until recently agent for the express company at Corvallis.

This is the second son Mr. Toner has lost within a short time, on of his boys having died at Yaquina a year ago. William Toner, the father of Claude Toner, is a member of the Elks lodge of this city and is well known in this city and at Newport.

The news of his son’s death is received with sorrow among his many friends here and the family has the heartfelt sympathy of the young people of Albany. The body of young Toner has not yet been recovered.

Source: Albany Democrat, October 11, 1912.


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