Russel Brothers Limited   OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO   Steelcraft Boat Builders
Aletha B.

Canadian List of Shipping 1956: Aletha B. [C.175992] registered at St. Catharines; built at Owen Sound in 1945. 41 5 x 12 x 3 4; 11 g.t.; 9 n.t.; 110 hp. Owned by Charles E. Weaver (M.).), Nanticoke, Ontario. Canadian List of Shipping 1970: Steel fishing tug Aletha B. [C.175992] registered at St. Catharines, Ontario. Built at Owen Sound in 1945. 42; 11 g.t. Owned by Misener, Port Dover. Canadian List of Shipping 1977: Fish tug Aletha B. [C.175992] was built in 1945 at Owen Sound. Owned by George Gibbons, Nanticoke, Ontario 1983-07-08. Built by Russel Bros., Ltd., Owen Sound in 1945. Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.7 x 1.0m: 11.46 g.t.; 1.19 n.t. Owned by Raymond Cote, Penetang, Ontario. Transport Canada List 2003: Owned by Raymond Cote, Penetang, Ontario.

Shaun Vary notes: - Aletha B. (fish tug) ownership as follows: William T. Cochrane (Dunnville) 1945-'48, William Siddall (Lowbanks) 1948-'55, Charles E. Weaver (Nanticoke) 1955-'69, John L. Misner (Port Dover) 1969-'72, Allan D. Perry (Port Dover) 1972-'74, Harry G. Gamble (Port Dover) 1974, George Gibbons (Port Dover) 1975-'81, David A. Ryerse (Port Dover) 1981-'84, Great Lakes Marine Contracting (Port Dover) 1984. After this, I have no clear record of her ownership. Aletha B. sank in a violent storm Sunday, March 24, 1974, while trawling off of Port Dover, Ontario. Her crew of two were both lost. They were her owner, Allan D. Perry, and his brother, Wayne C. Perry. The vessel was eventually raised and returned to service as the Glen L.

Photo Date: Unknown
Photo and tables below courtesy Great Lakes Vessels Index, Historical Collections of the Great Lakes,
Bowling Green State University


Port Dover clipping courtesy Gerry Ouderkirk.


Ownership Changes
Owner Name Date Registry Official #
William T. Cochrane
Dunnville, Ont. Canada
1945 - 1948 CANADA 175992
William Siddall
Lowbanks, Ont. Canada
1948 - 1955 CANADA 175992
Charlie E. Weaver
Nanticoke, Ont. Canada
1955 - 1969 CANADA 175992
John L. Misner
Port Dover, Ont. Canada
1969 - 1973 CANADA 175992
Allan D. Perry
Port Dover, Ont. Canada
1969 - 1973 CANADA 175992
George Gibbons
Nanticoke, Ont. Canada
1975 CANADA 175992


1987. Photo by Bill Breaker. Gerry Ouderkirk Collection.

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1987. Photo by Bill Breaker. Gerry Ouderkirk Collection.


Paul Capel notes: "Photo taken at Penetang Tugfest c. 1990.
Deckhouse configuration has since changed". Photo courtesy Paul Capel.

ENLARGE to 1024 pixels wide


June 26, 2001. Al Hart Photo sent in by Gerry Ouderkirk and Rob. B. Farrow.

Oct. 27th, 2007     From the Parry Sound Press

Man dies after tug capsizes

10/27 - Byng Inlet - A Port Hope man died Sunday morning after the tugboat he was on capsized off the shore of Byng Inlet. Around 8 a.m. Sunday, Donald Orange, 65, of Port Hope, along with Bryan Hogg, 58, of Thornhill, Ronald Orange, 62, and Shawn Orange, 23, both of Penetanguishene, started to drive the 45-foot tugboat to Midland from where is was moored near the Sawmill Lodge. About four miles out, the tugboat started to take on water and eventually capsized after being struck by a wave that put the nose under water, said Britt and area fire chief Larry Olds. All four men were wearing lifejackets and swam for the aluminum boat they were towing, police reported. By the time Donald Orange was pulled into the boat he had no vital signs, said Mr. Olds.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death was completed Monday, but results weren't released that afternoon pending notification of next of kin, said Kristine Dawson, West Parry Sound OPP community services officer. The men headed for the Sawmill Lodge where firefighters worked to revive Donald Orange for 90 minutes. The Britt and Area Fire Department were called to the scene at 11 a.m. The father of two was a member of the Newcastle Yacht Club and his sail boat was scheduled to come out of the water for the winter this past weekend, said Richard Christensen, commodore of the club. "He's kind and generous and always (willing) to help," said Mr. Christensen.

Editor's note - This same tug sank while trawling off of Port Dover, Ontario on March 24, 1974. Her crew of two were both lost. Aletha B. was built as a fish tug by Russel Bros in Owen Sound in 1945.

The Aletha B's at rest again after taking another life

The Aletha B, seen above in 2001, had a second life on Georgian Bay after being raised from the bottom of Lake Erie.

John Burman The Hamilton Spectator (Nov 1, 2007)

When the Port Dover fishing tug Aletha B was first raised after sinking and drowning two young men a month before, the lifting crane buckled. The 14-ton tug gave out a loud groan and fell, banging off a salvage barge before turning over and plunging once more to the bottom of the lake. It was April 25, 1974, and old-timers on the pier were quick to pronounce the second sudden sinking a bad omen: "She's down and she don't want to come back. She'll take someone again, sure." They were right.

Thirty-three years later, the Aletha B has sunk again -- this time Oct. 21. She went down off Byng Inlet, a ghost town in the Parry Sound District on the east side of Georgian Bay. And she took another life.

Donald Orange, 65, of Port Hope, was one of four men including the owner aboard the tug headed for Midland, 170 kilometres south, when she began to take on water and eventually put her bow under after being hit by a wave. Constable Kristine Dawson of the West Parry Sound OPP, says all four crew were wearing life-jackets and three of them made it to a 14-foot aluminum boat they were towing. They eventually pulled Orange aboard. Firefighters' efforts to revive him failed.

Doug Mummery, 77, who fished Lake Erie for 50 years before hanging up his nets to repair them for other boats, was on the pier in 1974 when the Aletha B was hauled back to port half-submerged so police divers could search her hull for the bodies of owner Allan "Dale" Perry, 29, and his younger brother Wayne, 20. Their tug had sunk suddenly as she ran for home in a violent storm 16 kilometres southeast of Port Dover a month earlier. Mummery, who says most fishermen are only reluctant about using a salvaged boat if the name has been changed, understands how folks felt the night the Aletha B tried to stay down. Old fishermen believed "... if it comes up the first time, it will stay up, or it will stay down if it wants to go down."

If a boat wants to stay down, they believe one should "leave her be," he added. The Aletha B didn't stay down after suddenly turning over in the first sinking. She was raised, searched by OPP divers and then hauled into Port Dover to be rebuilt and renamed the Glen L. She went back to work on the lake. The Perry brothers' bodies were recovered some time later, farther down the lake. Witnesses nearby on the larger trawler Trimac II said the Aletha B went down so fast no one got out.

Nevertheless, Trimac skipper Terry Hagen searched the area for 90 minutes before reluctantly turning for home. At the time, fishermen speculated the Perrys' new plastic nets had floated free inside the hull when the boat went down, tangling the men and preventing their escape. It made sense to put the Aletha B back into service. Sale of the boat helped offset the Perry family's loss.

Built by Russel Brothers Ltd. in Owen Sound in 1945, the steel-hulled Aletha B was a strong boat 41 feet long, 12 feet wide and a little more than three-foot draft. Originally registered in St. Catharines, the tug came to Port Dover in 1970 and was still working Lake Erie in the mid 1980s. Her registration shows up at Penetang and photos from a "tugfest" in 1990 show her covered deck removed and a single pilothouse added, making her look more like a traditional tug- boat, not a trawler.

Transport Canada is investigating the sinking but department spokesman Trina Bouchard said preliminary indications are that it probably will not be raised. Because the Aletha B died as a pleasure craft, there won't be an inquest as there might be with a commercial vessel. 905-526-2469 source:


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