Harbour Lives - Netflix

Ben Fogle goes to Britain's biggest natural harbour, Poole. By land, sea and air, Ben will explore all aspects of the place where he grew up.

Harbour Lives - Netflix

Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 30 minutes

Premier: 2013-06-14

Harbour Lives - SS Noronic - Netflix

SS Noronic was a passenger ship that was destroyed by fire in Toronto Harbour in September 1949 with the loss of at least 118 lives.

Harbour Lives - Aftermath - Netflix

The high death toll was blamed largely on the ineptitude and cowardice of the crew. Too few crew members were on duty at the time of the fire, and none attempted to wake the passengers. Also, many crew members fled the ship at the first alarm, and no member of the crew ever called the fire department. Passengers had never been informed of evacuation routes or procedures. The design and construction of the 36-year-old ship were also found to be at fault. The interiors had been lined with oiled wood instead of fireproof material. Exits were only located on one deck instead of all five. None of the ship’s fire hoses were in working order. Captain Taylor was hailed as a hero in the weeks after the fire. He was among the last of the crew to leave the Noronic. During the fire, he broke windows, pulling trapped passengers from their rooms. He was even said to have carried an unconscious woman from a smoke-filled passageway and lowered her by rope to rescuers on the pier below. The Canadian Department of Transportation inquiry into the disaster blamed both Canada Steamship Lines and Captain Taylor for failing to take adequate precautions against fire, and ordered Taylor's master's certificate suspended for one year. A witness made an accusation that Taylor had been under the influence of alcohol when the ship caught fire; Taylor denied this, and other witnesses testified that Taylor was behaving normally. The ship, which settled to the bottom in shallow water, was partially taken apart at the scene. The upper decks were cut away, and the hull was re-floated on November 29, 1949. It was towed to Hamilton, Ontario, where it was scrapped. Company officials suspected arson. Comparisons were later made to the fire aboard the CSL passenger ship Quebec, on which the fire was proven to have been deliberately set in a linen closet on August 14, 1950. In that year, the Noronic's near sister ship, the smaller Huronic, was retired and scrapped. By 1967, CSL phased out its remaining passenger ships from the fleet due to new international regulations relating to ships containing wood and other flammable materials. Local Funeral Home Bates And Dodds at 931 Queen Street West assisted with recovery of many of those who perished Damage suits for the Noronic were settled for just over $2 million. The Noronic's whistle is now displayed in a nautical museum on Toronto's Waterfront.

The death toll from the Noronic disaster was never precisely determined. Estimates ranges anywhere from 118 to 139 deaths. Most died from either suffocation or burns. Some died from being trampled or from leaping off the upper decks onto the pier. Only one person drowned. To the anger of many, 118 of those killed were passengers. (One crewmember, Louisa Dustin, later died of her injuries; she was the only Canadian victim.) A Federal inquiry was formed by the House of Commons of Canada to investigate the accident. The fire was determined to have started in the linen closet on C-deck, but the cause was never discovered. It was deemed likely that a cigarette was carelessly dropped by a member of the laundry staff.

Harbour Lives - References - Netflix