Sea Wing disaster

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Coordinates: 44°32′54″N 92°19′31″W / 44.548458°N 92.325368°W / 44.548458; -92.325368

Benwelter 1417477172 1890sSeaWingD.jpg
Sea Wing cira 1889
Name: Sea Wing
Owner: Diamond Jo Line
Completed: 1888
General characteristics
Displacement: 110 long tons (110 t)
Length: 135 feet (41 m)
Beam: 16 feet (4.9 m)
Height: 22 feet (6.7 m)
Draft: 4.5 feet (1.4 m)
Installed power: 2 steam engines, 10 in diameter, 6 ft stroke
Propulsion: Sternwheel paddleboat
Notes: Towboat being used as an excursion boat

The Sea Wing disaster occurred on July 13, 1890 when a strong squall line overturned the excursion vessel Sea Wing on Lake Pepin near Lake City, Minnesota. Approximately 215 people were aboard the vessel when it overturned and as a result of the accident 98 passengers drowned. An excursion barge that was being towed by the Sea Wing was either cut loose or broke loose and survived the disaster with its passengers unharmed. It is one of the worst maritime disasters that has occurred on the upper Mississippi River.[1]

While tornadoes had occurred earlier in the evening farther north in the Twin Cities area it is believed that downburst winds from a thunderstorm was the cause of the accident.[2][1]

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  • Florence Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota

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  • Lake Pepin

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  • Frontenac State Park

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