Fishing for bodies
Once all 101 survivors had landed at Sydney, Nova Scotia, only the bodies of victims would be brought ashore at Port aux Basques.
The fishermen laid Bridget Fitzpatrick’s body on the Custom’s Office table. Then Dr. Parsons went to Grand Bay, where the bodies of Lew Carter from Port aux Basques and an unidentified woman lay in the Kettle brothers’ fishing store.
The next morning, Jim Kettle told his first mate to sail without him to continue the search. Myrtle, Jim’s nineteen-year-old daughter, was coming home on S.S. Caribou, to care for her mother. Yesterday evening, spying a woman’s body floating in the water, all he could think of was his daughter.
Listen to the statement of Ernest Kettle on the recovery of bodies (with transcript).
Ernest Kettle knew the telegraphed co-ordinates given to the fishermen to guide their search were wrong. High winds pushed the bodies farther west, closer to where he had found the bodies of Lew Carter and the unidentified woman. He went out again on October 15, picking up the bodies of Art Thomas, Stan Taverner, Tom Moyst, Harold Chislett, Jerome Gale and six strangers: a baby girl, a young girl, two men and two women. He did not find the body of his daughter, Blanche Short (née Kettle).