The Iron Scow Rescue is a remarkable story of survival and heroism that occurred at Niagara Falls in 1918. The incident involved the rescue of five men from a barge that had broken loose from its moorings and was rapidly approaching the Horseshoe Falls, one of the most powerful sections of Niagara Falls.
The barge, known as the “Iron Scow,” was carrying a load of sand and gravel when it broke loose from its moorings on August 6, 1918. The barge was quickly swept downstream towards the Horseshoe Falls, a section of the Niagara River that drops more than 50 meters. The five men on board, George Parker, William “Red” Hill Sr., James Harris, Gustave Lofberg and Charles G. Clifton, were trapped on the barge and had little hope of survival.
The Niagara Parks Police, the Niagara Falls Fire Department and the Canadian Coast Guard, responded quickly to the emergency. They launched a rescue mission using a lifeboat and a rope, but the strong currents and the dangerous rapids made it impossible for them to reach the barge. As time passed, it became clear that the barge was doomed to go over the falls.
The rescuers came up with a new plan, they decided to use a rope to guide the barge into the shallow water at the base of the falls, where the men could jump off and swim to safety. The plan was risky, but it was their only hope. The rescue team managed to tie the rope to the barge, and with the help of a motorboat, they were able to guide the barge towards the shallow water.
The men on the barge knew that they had to act quickly, so they jumped into the water and swam to safety. All five men were rescued and brought to shore, where they were treated for minor injuries. The barge, however, was not so lucky. It was swept over the falls and smashed to pieces on the rocks below.
The rescue of the Iron Scow and its crew is considered one of the most remarkable and heroic acts in the history of Niagara Falls. It is a testament to the bravery and quick thinking of the rescuers, who risked their own lives to save the lives of the five men on the barge.
The Iron Scow Rescue is now a part of Niagara Parks History and a popular tourist attraction. The Niagara Parks Commission has erected a plaque at the site of the rescue, and visitors can also take a boat tour to the falls and view the site of the rescue.
In conclusion, The Iron Scow Rescue is an incredible story of survival and heroism that occurred at Niagara Falls in 1918. The incident remains a testament to the bravery and quick thinking of the rescuers who risked their own lives to save the lives of the five men on the barge. It is a part of Niagara Parks History and a popular tourist attraction.