Built in 1905, the Sidney Smith was taking her maiden voyage for her new owners (Erie Sand Steamship Co) up the St Clair River on June 5, 1972. At 1:46am The current under the Blue Water bridge caught the Smith, turning her broadside in the channel under the bridge, Directly into the path of the Parker Evans.

(Info from StClair.net and Great Lakes Now and Then)

Unable to avoid the collision, the bow of the Evans slammed into the starboard side of the Smith, flooding it with water.

Seriously damaged, the Evans was able to make it to shore and anchor.

However, within 40 minutes, the Smith rolled over on the Starboard side in approx 40 ft of water. The Smith’s entire crew was pulled from the sinking vessel by the Port Huron Pilot boat Sally M. 

The wrecked Smith rested in the shipping channel, initially halting traffic, then restricting traffic to one way traffic only.

In October 1972, shipping companies agreed to one-way alternating traffic in the vicinity of the  Blue Water Bridge to avoid having vessels pass in the tricky current.

The final resting place of the Sidney Smith is seen here

The Sidney Smith

The Parker Evans

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