History of ATR-7  -  Page 13

     One of the foremost memorable experiences for ATR-7's crew started on Thursday 19 October 1944, after they had just weathered another vicious hurricane. Shortly before noon the Captain received a confidential despatch to proceed to Key West. When steam was up, ATR-7 left Miami and sailed south. At 1800 another confidential despatch was received directing the ship to proceed to the assistance of S.S. LAKE FOLCROFT about 30 miles west of Havana, Cuba. At this time the chip changed course from Key West to the coast of Cuba.
The confidential despatch gave the position of S.S.LAKE FOLCROFT at Lat. 22° 50'N and Lon. 83° 46'W, about 80 miles west of Havana, Cuba.    At 1500,  ATR-7 stopped her engines and dropped the port anchor in 8 fathoms of water near Nicangrowa Island near S.S.LAKE FOLCROFT which was hard aground. The rusty iron cargo ship was stuck fast to a reef about a mile or so off the shore from the main land of Cuba. The ship had lost headway in the hurricane and landed on the rocky coast. ATR-7 anchored at a safe distance away and sent the motor launch over to
 S.S.LAKE FOLCROFT. The master of the vessel returned with ATR-7's Captain as the rest of the stranded ship's crew had been rescued earlier and were safe ashore.
    At 1908 ATR-7 moored portside to the port quarter of  S.S.LAKE FOLCROFT and commenced placing pumps on board that ship. Preparations were made to get the beach gear ready. By 2050 a six inch pump was in place and pumping began in the engine room of the grounded ship. AT 2230 commenced pumping after peak tanks and the shaft alley with three inch pump, and also began rigging beach gear.
    During the following night and day the Captain and the master of the stranded ship frequently discussed salvage procedures. The ATR-7 anchored in a safe area after squeezing through the treacherous coral reef, occasionally bumping or scraping on a knob of the jagged coral. Then both the whale boat and the motor launch ran back and forth to the S.S.LAKE FOLCROFT carrying handybilly pumps, divers gear and other necessary equipment. Probably at one time or another more than half of ATR-7's crew had a chance to go on board the grounded ship for various and sundry reasons.

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