December 1, 1966
HARBOR BEACH, Mich., (AP) - Rescue forces
fanned out over Lake Huron today in search of survivors of the ill-fated Daniel J. Morrell, which sank in
a storm with a feared loss of 28 lives.
One sailor miraculously survived the Great
Lakes' worst disaster in eight years.
Three bodies were recovered today after an all-
night search. All were in an area about 20 miles south-
east of the Harbor Beach light.
Gale force winds and heavy snow hampered overnight
rescue operations. Enlisted in the search were three
cutters and three other vessels.
The search turned up several orange life jackets
and water-logged life preservers, all stamped clearly
with the name Daniel J. Morrell. Orange-colored oars
and other debris were also recovered.
Its fate concealed by the storm for 24 hours, the
603-foot Morrell snapped in two Tuesday morning and
sank in 145 feet of water 20 miles northeast of
Harbor Beach, a town at the tip of Michigan's thumb
THE 12,500 - TON missing freighter, normally loaded
with ore, had only ballast in its hold, said a spokes-
man for Bethlehem Steel Company, whose subsidiary,
Cambria Steamship Company, is the owner.
"I saw two life boats launched before the ship sank,"
said deck watchman, Dennis Hale, the survivor. Plucked
from a life raft by helicopter, Hale was clad in under-
shorts, pyjamas and a jacket. He was found lying beneath the bodies of three crewmates who died of exposure.
AN EMPTY LIFE raft bobbed on waves near the coast
and a life ring and debris from the Morrell washed
up on the snow-covered shore at the northern tip of
the Thumb district. The wreckage was found by a 100-
man search party that scoured the shoreline during a
But the blinding snow hampered the search by three
Coast Guard cutters over a 400 square mile area of
Lake Huron. The storm grounded Coast Guard aircraft
during most of the hunt.
Hale, 26, of Ashtabula, Ohio, was reported in good
condition at a hospital.
"THE WEIRD thing" about the 12,000-ton Morrell,
said a Coast Guard spokesman, was "there was no
Winds up to 60 miles an hour and wave 20 feet
high lashed the Morrell and she apparently sank
without radioing an S.O.S.
LIST OF VICTIMS:
Bragg, Norman M., 40, Watchman, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Campbell, Stuart A., 60, Wheelsman, Marinette, WI
Cleary, John J., 20, Deckhand, Cleveland, OH
Crawley, Arthur I., 47, Master, Rocky River, OH
Dahl, George A., 38, Third Ass't Engineer, Duluth, MN
Davis, Larry G., 27, Deckwatch, Toledo, OH
Fargo, Arthur S., 52, Fireman, Ashtabula, OH
Fosbender, Charles H., 42, Wheelsman, St. Clair, MI
Grippi, Saverio, 53, Coal Passer, Ashtabula, OH
*Groh, John M., 21, Deckwatch, Erie, PA
Homick, Nicholas P., 35, Second Cook, Hudson, PA
Kapets, Phillip E., 51, First Mate, Ironwood, MI
Konieczka, Chester, 45, Fireman, Hamburg, N.Y.
MacLeod, Duncan R., Second Mate, Gloucester, MA
Mahsem, Joseph A., 59, Porter, Duluth, MN
Marchildon, Valmour A., 43, 1st Ass't Engineer, Kenmore, N.Y.
Marcotte, Ernest G., 62, 3rd Mate, Waterford, MI
Norkunas, Alfred G., 39, 2nd Ass't Engineer, Superior, WI
*Price, David L., 19, Coal Passer, Cleveland, OH
Rischmiller, Henry, 34, Wheelsman, Williamsville, N.Y.
*Satlawa, Stanley J., 39, Steward, Buffalo, N.Y.
Schmidt, John H., 46, Chief Engineer, Toledo, OH
Sestakauskas, Charles J., Porter, Buffalo, N.Y.
Simpson, Wilson E., 50, Oiler, Albemarle, N.C.
Stojek, Arthur E., 41, Deckhand, Buffalo, N.Y.
Truman, Leon R., 45, Coal Passer, Toledo, OH
Worcester, Donald E., 38, Oiler, Columbia Falls, ME
* indicates victims whose bodies were never found. They were
declared legally dead in May, 1977. Most remains were found
in the days soon after the sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell
however bodies continued to be found into the spring of 1967.