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.