The History of the Armistice Day Storm

 
With the wind (Capt. Jens Vevang of the Flint reported gusts of 110 mile-an-hour) and darkness there was little the Coast Guard could do except watch and wait.

Armistice Day Storm

About the time the Flint went aground, the Novadoc (initials for Nova Scotia Dominion of Canada) was fighting to stay afloat.

Armistice Day Storm

The Coast Guard at Little Point Sauble saw that the ship was in difficulty, heading toward shore, either intentionally or because of the southwest wind. When the Novadoc hit the sandbar it had no lights, only lanterns and no communications.

Armistice Day Storm

The ship's captain, Donald Steip, said in an interview with the Daily News some years later, that the wireless equipment was aboard but had not yet been hooked up.

Armistice Day Storm

With the telephone line to Ludington down, the Little Point Sauble Coast Guard called Chicago for instructions, and was told to drive to Ludington and report the situation.

Armistice Day Storm

The Ludington officer in charge ordered a truck and equipment to Pentwater, but said it would be folly to attempt rescue until the storm abated.

Armistice Day Storm

The Novadoc's crew, so close to land, could do nothing but wait, 10 of them in the pilot house and seven in the aft end. Wait they did for almost 36 hours. And therein was the start of the controversy.

Armistice Day Storm

Two weeks later Coast Guard officers from Chicago convened a hearing in Pentwater to determine if the Ludington Coast Guard had been negligent in attenpting to rescue the Novadoc crew.

Armistice Day Storm