Niagara scow moves closer to falls’ edge

Niagara scow moves closer to falls’ edge


[Reporter] From shore it’s hard to even make out what it is but that’s the Niagara Scow. Nobody paid all that much attention to it until last week. When, for the first time in 100 years, it moved. It crept closer to the falls. That story went around the world. But what I’m here in Niagara Falls to find out is whether this rusted hunk of metal is really something we should care about So tell me where it moved? It was up about this way here — about 50 yards. And then the current and wind picked it up and spun it and tipped it over to where it sits now. [Reporter] Kip Finn takes me as close as you can get to the scow. For his whole life, the wreckage has been a reminder of how his great-grandfather risked his life out there 100 years ago. When the scow moved what did you think about? I didn’t believe it at first, so I had to come down here and take a look. And yeah, it was heartbreaking. You say heartbreaking, why heartbreak? Because it’s like the only monument that we can attach William Redhill Sr. to in the area. There’s nothing else down here. [Reporter] August 1918, the scow breaks free from a tugboat and heads toward the falls with two men on board. Miraculously, the boat gets hung up on the rocks above the brink. But now the two men are stuck with no way to get to shore. Ropes are shot to the scow but they get tangled. Enter Kip’s great-grandfather William Redhill Sr. [Kip] He stepped forward, he volunteered. And said, “I’ll go out there.” And he did, he went out there and he had to climb hand-over-hand in certain areas to tell untangle the ropes. So he’s dangling above the water. [Reporter] The man dangling just above the falls — William Redhill Sr. He’d just returned from fighting in the First World War. He survived that and here he was putting his life on the line again. [Kip] I don’t think he was scared at all. I don’t think he’d want to be anywhere else than hanging over that river. You know, trying to save those guys. Doing whatever he had to do to get out there and save those guys. And he did. And he was pulled back to the rooftop over here behind us to a round of applause. And stories say that the firemen tossed him up in the air when he got back over there. So it would have been a really neat thing to see. It’s too bad there’s nothing on video or anything like that. But yeah, it would have been something to see. [Repoter] And for 100 years, the scow didn’t move. When it finally did, it brought the story back. And all week people have been coming here to look at the scow. People like Patrick Sirianni. Sir, how come you’re looking out at the scow? Well, you know it’s a very important part of our history out here. And it moved the other night And I sure hate to see it go and disappear. You know, because when it disappears we lose that history. And if it does, I’m gonna go down to the whirlpool and pick up a piece. Get a souvenir. Give it to the history museum. So at least we’ll have something. [Laughs] [Reporter] But that’s not enough for Kip. He wants a permanent memorial to his great-grandfather down here by the river. [Kip] I won’t be happy until he’s recognized. I don’t want him to be forgotten. He’s family. You know, I never met him but that’s my great-grandfather and I’m proud of him. What would you like to say to him? Thank you. [Reporter] When you see it from the shore it may not look like much. But I’m with Kip. The story of RedHill Sr. and what he did out there, that shouldn’t be forgotten. Nick Perdon, CBC News, Niagara Falls

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