The Riseover

The rugged shores near Musgrave Harbour have seen their share of drama played out, when nature matches men against the sea. Such was the case in November, 1911, when the schooner Riseover met her death on the Shag Rock.

The Riseover skipper was a Pumphrey from Brigus. She was bound to the north when she encountered heavy winds off Musgrave Harbour. Later that night she hit the Shag Rock. The sea was in an uproar, and heavy waves and high winds drove the vessel further on the rocks. Her seams split open and the water began to pour in. The lifeboats were washed off the deck. The ship was doomed and all hands on board faced certain death.

Some men, when looking death in the face, will make peace with their Maker, and wait for the end. The men from Brigus might have prayed to God, but they weren't going to give up the fight for survival. While there was a chance for their lives, they wouldn't yield.

The Captain knew it was only a matter of time before the ship disintegrated, due to the fury of the storm. There was only one chance for survival - a raft. There was plenty lumber on board and he ordered the crew to start building one.

When the raft was finished, the crew launched it over the side of the ship. It seemed like certain death to put their trust in such a thing, but it was surely death if they stayed where they were. The six men got on the raft, throwing themselves upon the mercy of the sea.

At that time, the head lighthouse keeper on Peckford Island was a Mr. Whiteway. His assistant was an Arthur Pardy. Back then it was the custom for the lighthouse keepers to take their families along for the duration, while they were employed at their jobs.

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