The cold waters of the Charles closed over the bodies of eight crew men and a coxswain yesterday. But the men quickly rose, reached shore, and set out for the Newell boathouse, while Coach Stevens took charge of the shell, which had been stove in by a stray chunk of ice.
The oarsmen and cox in crew C were the victims. When above the Brighton bridge,--nearly to the first dam in Watertown,--their shell struck a piece of ice, which punched a small hole amidships. The shell rapidly filled and before the crew could pull ashore, the water had nearly reached the gunwales. The men jumped into the water and abandoned the shell to Coach Stevens in his launch. Theoretically, they ran back to the boathouse, but it is rumored that nine men in dripping rowing togs arrived at Newell shortly after the accident in automobiles.
Were Using Shells For First Time
The shell was towed back to Newell boathouse while the other two crews continued their workout. The hole was found to be only about an inch in diameter,--not involving serious damage to the thin hull. Shells were used yesterday for the first time, because the river appeared to be clear of ice, and shells, not barges, were available at Newell boathouse. Barges were used Wednesday.
Routine practice will begin in carnest on Monday. The coaching work has been very much impeded since the crews got on the Charles last Wednesday; on that date, because of the short stretch of open water, practice was very brief; on Thursday, President Eliot's ceremony prevented rowing; and yesterday, Coach Stevens was obliged to spend much of his time in getting the damaged shell back to Newell.
Will Have 15-mile Pulls Daily
Yesterday, crews A and B rowed about eight miles, but according to Coach Stevens, as soon as the weather moderates, a 10 to 15-mile row will be the daily fare of the first three crews.
Coach Shaw had his three Freshman crews on the water yesterday for the first time. Coach Haines also had the dormitory and 150-pound Freshmen straining the oar-locks of the Leviathan, or twenty-oared punt. This punt, contrary to expectations, makes excellent time under the impulse of the twenty oarsmen, and from the standpoint of the Coach being able to move between the oarsmen while rowing, it is a success.