October 6, 2017
For Immediate Release

Monday Marks 150th Anniversary of Act of Heroism By Captain William Jackman of Renews

Keith Hutchings, PC MHA for Ferryland District, said, “The Captain William Jackman Heritage Society is raising funds to construct and maintain a monument to honour a local hero who, 150 years ago on October 9, 1867, swam into icy Labrador seas to rescue 27 shipwrecked mariners.”

Glenn Jackman, President of the Captain William Jackman Heritage Society said, “Every Newfoundlander and Labradorian, every Canadian, every individual who hears or reads about Captain William Jackman’s legendary heroic feat feels a sense of renewed hope in the inherent goodness of humanity. This man represents the ideals of caring people everywhere. Our monument of Captain William Jackman will serve to remind us and future generations of these ideals.”

Captain Jackman’s heroism was honoured by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation in October 2010 under the Provincial Historic Commemorations Program with the following statement: “In 1867, at Spotted Islands, Labrador, Captain William Jackman swam from the shore for a distance of approximately 500 ft and back again to rescue one by one, the 27 people aboard the fishing schooner Sea Clipper which had struck a reef during an October storm. The first 11 were rescued without additional aid; for the remainder Jackman had use of a rope and was assisted by other men onshore. In recognition of his near superhuman effort, he was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Humane Society of Great Britain.”

Captain Jackman was born to a fishing family in Renews on May 20, 1837. He was a 30-year-old sealing steamer captain in October 1867 when a fierce Labrador gale prompted him to anchor his vessel at Labrador’s Spotted Island (near Black Tickle). It was there that he saw the fishing schooner Sea Clipper had run aground on a reef in heavy seas. He swam to and from the vessel 11 times to carry 11 people on his back to safety, and then made another 16 swims with the aid of a rope. He died only a decade later at the age of 39.

Hutchings said, “This is the kind of heroism that great films celebrate, yet most people do not know the story of William Jackman. All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians – indeed all Canadians – ought to hear his story and be inspired by what he did. A monument in his hometown of Renews will serve as a tribute to his heroism. It will also serve as a reminder to people of the great courage required to work in our province’s fishing industry.”

Hutchings is encouraging people to donate by visiting the Heritage Society’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cwjmonument/

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Media Contacts:
Heather MacLean, Director of Operations and Communications
Office of the Official Opposition
(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

Glenn Jackman, President
Captain William Jackman Heritage Society
(709) 364-2248, gjackman67@gmail.com