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24 july 2015 FOGHORN www.nicholsboats.com Expert Boat Builders Steel Aluminum Construction Salesnicholsboats.com 360331-5500 x 311 with Expeditions We are proud to be working with new PVA member Mavrik Marine on our new Passenger Ferry EXPEDITIONS six. EXPEDITIONS 1-800-695-2624 go-lanai.com safety Security MATTERS to control the draft. Once the vessel was in deep water ballast could be added to stabilize the vessel. Originally certificated in 1903 for 2800 passengers there was never a stability test done on the completed vessel. The regulations of the time did not require stability tests. Passenger capacity was determined solely by the Steamboat Inspection Services Local Board of Inspectors. Local inspectors used their experience and took vessel type and local operating conditions into consideration when determining passenger capacity. The Eastland had a reputation as a cranky vessel. Her passenger capacity varied over the years from a high of 3300 to a low of around 2000. Local inspector actions to reduce passenger capacity were associated with incidents where passengers complained of the vessel listing too far on one side or the other. Numerous modi- fications were made to the vessel between 1903 and 1915 including the relocation of the main engines addition of air conditioning units removal of passenger cabins concrete deck repairs and the addition of lifeboats and liferafts. A number of lifeboats and liferafts were added as a result of the sinking of the Titanic as the Steamboat Inspection Service implemented new laws regarding passenger capacity and lifesaving equipment. Again all of these modifications were made without additional stability tests or calculations. THE DISASTER Early on the morning of Saturday July 24 1915 thousands were gathering along the Chicago River for Western Electrics fifth annual employee picnic in Michigan City IN. Five vessels had been chartered to take employees across Lake Michigan and the Eastland was the first to be loaded for a 730 a.m. departure. At just after 700 a.m. with her full load of 2500 passengers on board the vessel began to list to port. The chief engineer attempted to counter ballast the vessel with water and twice in a 20-minute period the vessel righted itself from 10 to 15 degree port lists. The third time however the Eastland continued to list to port and once she reached a 30-degree list water began to down-flood through main deck hatches and open port lights. The crew attempted to get passengers to move to the starboard side but that soon became impossible against the list.At a 45-degree port list the Eastland was lost and she gently rolled her side barely making a splash. Within moments 22 entire families were wiped out. INVESTIGATIONS AND IMMEDIATE ACTIONS In the aftermath of the disaster no fewer than seven inquiries into the disaster were announced. They included the Chicago Coroner and the Harbor and Wharfs Commission the States Attorney of Illinois the Secretary of Commerce and the Supervising Inspector General of