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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Daily Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 16, 1911, Lethbridge, Alberta MAN THAT HAD SIX MINUTES TO LIVE" fiOW Captain Herrimann Chuckled at Goblin of the Wreck, and Lot Ke Found Himself Trapped in His Diver's upright and save himself from falling amid tlie champing and jrrJndlutf of the Iron. Thou the mo- tion ceased and his hand went to his signal line. It was merely Instinctive, thru dutch, and an he C.IIM. ,0 m. i'JSf (KhS. thai hollow thread as ue is upon the main artery of bis IIGUFL The thought of the slender cord and. what it to blui is nover far from the diver's mind. Men TEIS story is one told bert Herrimann, af er an career, one of tbe hourc captains at Sailor's SiiMg Harbor, States Is'and. Kerrimann, after the manner of many men who have done things, cculd net be induced to tell it Myself, "but sonio of h'.s old shipmates were not so vcti- and the facts, obtained, drew a re- luctant confirmation from the 1011. by tie New York Hcralt! Co. All rlt'uK T WOK a strange ai3venture tutii Captain Al- bert HernmaiMi bc-ncath Jie rolling surges of the Pacific. No deadly combnt a living arfversftry. no iuatchtug of strength ami those of a pulpnble opponent, no sbocU of bailie or hot ol ever brought forth a strainer. Captain Llerrlnuum scofi's at :iuy sujwUon of the supernatural. Man aud boy hi- was al sen for forty of sailing vessels for ihe most part of it, if there is any life tbr.t held of stem mtlity and grim, tangible fact ilian of a commander iu ihe old merchant marine it has lic-ea recorded. And yet Captain ilerniminn uihjht well find -.-round j'or certain doubts In regard to rho tense hour he pussrrt wirhin the ribs uf u sunken wreck on the floor Of I ho ocean. there be that have neaul this srr-ry win It all lo the kobold. It Is not be tisat ihe kobold thi-rs. uor ihat he was a thing of minister appearance, nor that being a kobukl hi; might plausibly be with uneiuMiy hrtppeM- ings. liut the point Immediately arises that the ko- Iwld is an oariu sprite ami has nn manner right bt? mlspd up with affairs in the sea which an- plainly out of bis province altujrother. To nuikf- the ynru quite consistent there should have In-en U'obold. but a nls. a nix or some other of the more clearly attendant upon the watery tribe ot vvll. is the story. "Captain ncrrlniann quit the comrnrmfl of trading vessels some years back to lake the post us norineP.t agent for the'San Fran.-Isro Board of U-.idcrwritsw. JH tbis rapacity he haJ supervision of overy wie k ulvnj: Pacific coast from San Francis o to the Arctic, and it was his duty, on receipt of weal that au insured vessel had been cant away, to pnx-ecd to the spot arullnake an Inspection. On his Judgment of the condition and position of the craft she was either abandoned, raised or stripped of her cavgo. work which tho cjiptaln directed. Came report to San Fraurisco one day that tho Joseph F. Spinney, schooner, just completing a weary voyage around the Horn from New York with n mis- cellaneous cargo, had pushed throutrh a fog and broken her back on a reef-off Cape Ray. After strik- ing the vessel hud drifted off and sunk.1 scarcely al- lowlnc the rrow time to take to the boats. Captain Herri ma nn was shortly on hnud with No. fi buvge. and utter some sountlhig the sunken nchoouer vcml lying some eight, fathoms ileep Weather was propitious, and "after tho br.rge had been anchored the Captain prepared to deatem' for preliminary Investigation.' Among other heavy tr.atcrinl the wrecked vessel bore many tons of short bar iron. Uut the most valu- able part of her'cargo was a consignment of statuary, and marble which was lo grace a semi-public park. Tbis statuary represented years of conscleai- tious collecting by one ot the wealthiest citrons of California who had travelled extensively anil lian made most of his purchases in Europe, shipping them to New York for storage and examination by experts. The selections were to form the decorations of the grounds of his large estate. Captain Herrinianii was particularly desirous of determining tho condition of these statues, ur.U whether or not they eeultl be e lived. He was assisted into his diving suit with the rubber lined garments and the automatic headpiece. As usual In deep soa diving, be took no guide rope, de- pending upon Iron weights to bring him to the sea bottom and the buoyancy of the helmet and inflated Bult to brinsr him up acain when ho should Them olt. Ke carried a signal Hue attached to .1 bclj by the pump by which lie. could call for more air. The an loiuutic escitpe vnlve in ihe helmet was arranged release an excessive pressure. For exploration n rht- dark interior of the hold he carried .strapped IsLs waist a set of small electri.: batteries nrtaohcfl to a hand torch. Outmteil in this wise, and wirli the- diver's knife haiiL-ing by his side, iie wt-jit (icuvn tin- ladder and so through the deepening gloum of the water to the schooner bt'Juvv. Entering the He had no difficulty in bringing up ou of tbe schooner, ami his tirst task to fry ilir hatch. It was tight and nccussarj' to open it and effect an entrance. Then. crawling: over tbe edge, he dropped within. Stvtiut.jiiig his liiui Iji.iditic the slack his guun pcrclin air pijie in the i.-tlu-r hand Capuiiu started It was bard 'j fie bars, L'rokcn out 01" their orderly rows by the Vessel's list, In heaps moinxls. ;ti all J like chovnux de friso, f.-.i-fasn'e pyniruids ami funning -Ulu-os over be .bad to cniwl. Krjopiisg wu-H njijipr port side, close ti> the flirlHiyuerVi skin, lie made shift to wriggle his way ncnrer to the part of the hold, where ho knew th.? st.itiKiry had been r :j lu thnt enclosed space, shut off from even a glim- of the light of day. tho his lurch sprpad a suffuseil were but there is something about the Isolation, the silence. thf tbe under ihni krcj's alive A souse o? its sinister possibilities lu those who ven- ture there. Like every otb'er diver Captain krew what llu' stopping of the air meant. It meant that restore tils supply he hnii six wore tbe outside, co live. For so lows response. Moving swiftly, surely. a mnn movM who can count hlR lease upon life In he stooped low, an ominous movement of tbe mass and be desisted. It occurred to him now that he might be work the tube free from beueiith the He lowered Llmself diver fushion, letting tbe heights slung about hU body- draw him 'Ipwn, and, crouching, wrought desperately at the tube. Hopeless! He could not slip the Battened xutta percba aside an iucb. The pressure waa too llu straightened now at anothpr thought. lie had and with bis torch sweeping tbe briKtliiix Jrou shafts some ten foet of the tubing. Paying this out. he worried uloug the pine. Here be cculd w.'jere a !inr athwart It, and here. He rtj.f' T! as Jack It wa? the purpose now lo rrturn flm Ho saw thn? thr stiuunr" s.-ilrrd iir through ihe dpck or by through forward ha'cli. bnt hnr-lr? necessary. The of the iron mSjrht easily tear the wreck apart iri hsavy wearher. He starred to rrrr.icc thr oonrs" he hnd it main wtjcn sniddonly his fooilnc: him nixl At samp instant ho awfirp thrit Ills sir hnd f V Of al! tlinr mic Ss as that of ji dlvpr. ontfln- eWk in a r.i'hrt'iOrcT'vV wrorV. whrn r.r knov.-s th.Tf his 1 vital tube of communication Ins l-ccn closrrt. Far ck of the Wreck. But ac He Rose Slowly, Slowlj He Passed Through Eigh" Hundred." crawled aft .to the limit of rho tether In the direction of the main hitch. And a.4 he played the lljcht before and about Irim he understood at hist tbe extent dUnster. He hnd wasted nearly three valuable rulu- In bis attempt to solve the- Jack straw p-uzxlo. Beyond the apot where the slide had balked blui bars had piled In barriers upon his pipe. And bU exit was bJockeO. Nearly bis timo was gone, nearly half of the precious oxygen In his helmet had In dallylug over an Impossible cask. If he bad been able to remove those first dozen bars it would have been only to discover at the end that he was siill trapped and that he had been deceived into a fruit- less and fatal struggle. But he had not yet been betrayed into losing All. Composedly, with unhurried movements, husbanding hli little store of air by determined control over tho aoiiot of his lungs, he prepared for the last sliia'remained to him. He gathered up tiacfc of the pipe, aud with band took a hold about It toraa feet from where it joined the hai- rnet His dirlng suit, clamped about the aVrlsti, left UU. haiida free and he could bring to upon the flexible cutta percha tbe direct grip of ab; palm aui finteni. He chose his hold carefully, deliberately. when he had found U he throttled the tube, closr Ing tbe baud of bone and muscle with the full tenskrh of hla strength. v" Then drawing bis knife wHh his right band keen bfaSe upon the tube above the com- prwslon, and with one stroke severed it At the time he sliced the signal line. The more was final. There was no retracing It. now definitely cat off from ail connection With. above by his own act. His helmet and the remaining fragment of hose, guarded by the grip his nsted band, held his little remaining share of life! When that air had used, or If in the interval his hold upon relaxed, It was the end. Prisoned Amid Iron Bars. Freed from the tether he now Eougbt a way over barrier of tumbled oars. They were still and shirting with the new tilt of tbe vessel and thu rocking the swell, and found himself in immi- nent of being crushed or maimed among them. He tried to climb them, but the first two steps taught him that he coujfl not possibly run the gantlet time way. Tlie iron presented a bristling and treacherous which threatened to crumble upon him enck iDsMBt. thlnjf impossible. But there tras Still unotber iray to be tried. cast off from him the weights iiung aboiit his body that overcame his buoy- nucy. ,Wbea be dropped them he rose like A huso bubble through the water to find himself without support against tbe under side of tbe deck.- And now began bin real fight Re was safe lor the moment the gnashing of tbe iron teeth. But be had at least fifteen feet in a straight line to cover be- fore be could reach the hatch. And he could not travel in n straight line, since the barrier before him hnd heaped up close to the deck and the way over It was yet to tod. Throughout this struggle be work with his riffht arm above his head, since his weighted shoes kept his feet downward. To propel himself he had only bis right hand against the tim- of the deck. He caught at them, found a brace and was able to a vigorous shove that thrust him ahead some dls- iancc. But wheu he reached again his nugers .ilong smooth wood. The slightest pressure sent him bobbing-down again and he strove In vain for a hold. At this point he began to feel the effect of vitiated air upon which his lungs were laboring. A heaviness oppressed hlui, a duil throbbing In his ears.' a pulaing la his temples and of his eyes. It was the warning, the beginning of tbe distress that would mount swiftly to unendurable torture. Desperately he whipped out his kulfe again and drove its tooth Into the planking above him. this he gave a strong -thrust Looking toward the hatch he caught a light over the top of tbe barrier to the starboard. U'sinp bis knife ha thrust ha thnt direction. HJs feet touched the bars lightly as be worked nearer the summit, and he used them, forcing his head and shoulders toward the light. At last he had wedged himself into the space. He could see just btyond the square of the hatchway. And there he caught. His was a curious position, fraught with the utmost danger. It as If his trap had closed upon him when he was half way through the jaws. Above him was Benemth him were the grinding of the Iron bars. A slight shift a piling up of the cargo, and he would be smashed against tho deck like n fly on a celling. A bar across the back of his neck and als saoulders him. About five minutes of his time had gone. He had not. ceased to keep approximate measure, aided by :he painful and increasing ejeertions of his lungs. lie prawled there, and through the red. dancing mist that starting eyes be saw the dwtnd- .ing of the grains In his glass of life. Suddenly heaved below him. He felt the shuddering of barrier, felt the bar at his back ,-iress'up apatnit him. and ID tbe first panic flood of to which he bad yielded be lashed out witfc every ounce of power In galranic contraction of erery 'iiuscic, whipped to a frenzy of action by the closing the jaws. The next Instant he was free and the Uars clashed acgrUy. The effort bud carried hira throogb. And yet It was ail but too late. He bad almost reached the point In suffering flesh and tissue can suffer no further. HIn lungs swelled find labored in utmost distress, breathing again and again the fainted air. Ilia head was in a whirl of molten an- KUlsb, bMtcn with white hot hammers. With n l.-rst scramble he won somehow to the hatch and drifted ihrongh it fathoms was tbe squrr-SIn? to the deck of wreck. But as be rose slowlj. slowly through the i.rightenins water, he passed through eight hunHred. s here seemed no end to It There seemed never to lisve been any beginning. Up and up. He knew ho be moving, jet be doubted. And be was near, s erj near, the wfaen it could make no difference. A rude shock stirred bis fading consciousness. The water had sudden darkened A vnst shadow hovered over hira. He stared about in A dnze. He had ceased to rise. Against tho blurred; windows of the helmet he saw a vast, vague shape. U was some faraway corner of his tortured brain ptill feebly resisting the stupor enveloping him. was able to understand thai he had come np Ibe and lhat he hang there luotlu'.iles.v. It the corner thtu painfully drew his Hand up so the atrip of iceel, closed It and worked luu mus- cles of tee arm lu a last sluggish isupulse. Nuried Back to Life. The crew of the wrecking barge pk-ked up Captain the surface. Uuowing that something was wrong wUb. him, uaable to force air through tho pump, they bad taken to Uie boats witb some notion of dragging loose the pipe from ajaotuer angle. It was by taa side of one of the boats that he came floating to tne the air In bis belmef serve. At the end of that tUnc he would perish fearful acnny of lungs, swelling reeling brain, all the hor- rors of slow suffocLtioa. In the spurt of that revealed the situation and all Its to him be knew what bnd happened. Tae kclwoncr; which he bad thought firmly wedged anW.s: had seitied acain in the iirptug of the cround ard hnd mrooned to stnrboarJ. Tho hnrs wero and clnnslriir rirc hFyond'alt'belp.' alone, tsnafded.'amid the dsuntlnsc "n.rter his feet, olnnkinp witb the the objwt of which is lo lift thin slivers of ivory or wood frora an Inti rtuit of the pile He was unconscious, but they coaxed Mm back to and ttey his perils. All tbtougb. It he lieptbis left hand clutched about a. deep. Captain Albert Herritaaa to pl.iy a of jack straws with death. He lifted the siir. IKted mysteries perils of the depths, hravuag a hostile of heavy blow? beneath tho watrr. In the shift forbidden by nature to mau and conQnereu had already his air plpo. by man In spite of nature, he Is dependent upon Jhe minute he had all he could