The Hada County left Swansee, Wales en route to Saint John with a load of coal. During heavy fog it got off the course so dropped anchor off White Head, December 6, 1941. The Life Saving Crew was called and proceeded to tow her out and set her on course for Saint John. It has been reported that this maneuver was what caused the ship to flounder upon the Little Brazil shoals.
The cargo of coal was quickly grabbed by locals in fishing boats, as well, anything of any value from paint to silverware and chairs was grabbed by local salvagers. Boats from all around Grand Manan were lined up to relieve the ship of its cargo. In fact, the coal was burned in homes for many years to come.
The crew, mostly Norwegians, were brought ashore and put up in
local homes until they could be transferred to Saint John.
Two of the men stayed with my husband's grandparents. The Norwegians were unable to speak English so this proved a problem when trying to communicate with their hosts. The men were covered in coal dust from head to toe as they had been working in the boilers shoveling the coal for fuel. When approached by a small boy in the household they pushed him away. The child was told not to bother the men as his parents felt that perhaps they didnít like children. This was not the case . . . after they had a warm bath and change of clothing they took the child in their arms and played with him. Upon leaving Grand Manan they sent the small child a broom and dustpan as a token of friendship.
Two years ago one of the crew, Ward Duke, who was a mere lad of 15, visited the island and called upon me for photos etc. He related the story of the Hada County and revisited the area where she floundered.