Kyle should be sold for scrap rather than rust away


The Kyle as she stand today. This proud ship, 103 years old, was once known as the Bull­dog of the North.

This ship, which out­ran sub­marines dur­ing the Sec­ond World War, car­ried fish­er­men and their fam­i­lies back and forth to the Labrador Coast in the 1920s and 30s and up un­til the mid-50s, also acted as a hospital ship, troop car­rier, pas­sen­ger ship, freighter, is now ly­ing at rest at River­head, Har­bour Grace.

At one time, Capt. Guy Earle, owner, met with Gus Rowe, the MHA. They tried to ac­quire some funds to have the Kyle sit­u­ated some place, and have it used as a tourist at­trac­tion, with a ho­tel and restau­rant. But funds could not be re­ceived from the gov­ern­ment at that time.

Hence, the S.S. Kyle re­mains at River­head where she is fast de­cay­ing since go­ing at rest by a storm of east­erly wind in 1967 — not 63 as some peo­ple said, as I was work­ing on the steamship un­til 1965.

Ox­i­da­tion is fast tak­ing its toll. Ox­i­da­tion is the process of in­creas­ing or de­creas­ing the neg­a­tive vari­ance of iron. The ex­tra low tides in Jan­uary re­vealed the dam­age al­ready done. Now the ribs can be seen, and with the low tides, the air and the sun get­ting to the iron, this will speed up the rust­ing, as seen by the pic­tures.

The star­board side be­low the wa­ter­line shows the ex­posed ribs, and the port side shows large gap­ing holes be­low the wa­ter­line. In less than a year the Kyle has re­ally rusted. The plates, which were fas­tened to the ribs, have gone.

Why don’t the gov­ern­ment sell it for scrap rather than have it founder where it is? There it will be an eye­sore. This would be a shame. The gov­ern­ment should have re­moved it and erected a plaque next to the plane and the statue of Emilia Earhart, com­mem­o­rat­ing the last owner and seal­ing skip­per Capt. Guy Earle.

Do not let this im­por­tant bit of his­tory be de­stroyed. Give the Kyle a fair and de­cent farewell. The ox­i­da­tion has al­ready started its part. Please let it rest in peace. The en­closed pic­ture will show what dam­age has al­ready been done. When the mast falls and the rig­gings fall, it will re­ally be an eye­sore. Please re­spect her his­tory.


Gap­ing holes are vis­i­bile along port­side of the S.S. Kyle in River­head, Har­bour Grace.

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