It was on this day in 1867 that William Jackman, captain of a Bowrings sealing steamer, swam through the surf near Spotted Island, Labrador, to rescue 11 men from a wooden fishing vessel, the Sea Clipper, wrecked on a rocky reef. Then with the help of others and a rope, he swam out to the reef 16 more times to save the remaining men and women.
In 1992 Canada Post commemorated Jackman’s legendary heroism by issuing a stamp as part of their “Legendary Hero’s” series.
Jackman was born in Renews, Newfoundland.
Like his younger brother Arthur, Jackman commanded sealing vessels for Bowring Brothers. According to Wikipedia, Jackman is best known for the rescue at Spotted Island on Oct. 9, 1867.
Jackman witnessed the Sea Clipper run aground with 27 people aboard. Jackman swam back and forth to the vessel eleven times, rescuing eleven people. His crew then tied a rope around his waist and Jackman swam back sixteen more times, rescuing all aboard the doomed ship.
On Dec. 18, 1868, for his heroism, he was presented the medal and diploma of the Royal Humane Society.