On March 31, 1914, 132 men from the SS Newfoundland jumped onto the North Atlantic ice floes to hunt seals. Only 55 made it back alive. Lost in a sudden blizzard, the sealers wandered for two days and nights before rescue arrived, victims of the weather, miscommunication and their employer’s negligence.
The 1914 Newfoundland sealing disaster had a deep and lasting effect on the colony. One hundred years, the story still resonates.
Perished traces the days before, during, and after the tragedy, revisiting the horrors of those days and nights on the ice and examining its long-term ramifications. It is also a one-of-a-kind backgrounder on the seal hunt, exploring the roots of the industry, the conditions on board the sealing vessels, and the cutthroat competitiveness of sealing captains and merchant firms, and the determination of sealers, who risked their lives every spring as they set out for the ice.
* Politician and Fishermen’s Protective Union founder William Coaker’s eyewitness account of the 1914 hunt
* Dozens of archival photographs and documents
* Pullout facsimile documents, including maps, logbooks entries, telegrams. And a sealer’s ticket for the SS Newfoundland.