I'm Alone

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I'm Alone was a Canadian ship used as a rum runner during Prohibition in the United States. The auxiliary schooner was built in Nova Scotia in 1923, and for six years, she transported contraband alcohol.[1] Another source says the ship was built in the United Kingdom.[2] Her registry was in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.[3] I'm Alone was intercepted in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana by USCGC Wolcott on 22 March 1929, as the schooner was returning from Belize with liquor. The crew of I'm Alone disobeyed orders to stop and was shelled and sunk by USCGC Dexter. Seven of the ship's eight crew members were rescued. The eighth, a French Canadian boatswain, Leon Mainguy, died.[4] The surviving crew members, including captain John "Jack" Randell, were arrested and jailed in New Orleans.[2]

The sinking caused tensions in Canadian–American relations, with Envoy Vincent Massey criticizing the Americans' actions. The Canadian government sued for damages. Coast Guard intelligence personnel, led by Elizebeth Friedman, were able to demonstrate in international arbitration that the owners of I'm Alone were Americans, despite the ship's Canadian registry. As a result, the US paid a fine much lower than the amount initially requested by Canada.[1] Captain Randell and Amanda Mainguy, the widow of the crew member who died, both received restitution.[2]

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  1. ^ a b Hagen, Carrie (28 January 2015). "The Coast Guard's Most Potent Weapon During Prohibition? Codebreaker Elizebeth Friedman". Smithsonian. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Bell, Jessica. "1929 – The S.S. I'm Alone". Canadian Geographic. Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Skoglund, Nancy Galey (1968). "The I'm Alone Case: A Tale from the Days of Prohibition". University of Rochester Library Bulletin. University of Rochester. 23 (3). Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Sinking of the I'm Alone". The Times (45161). London. 26 March 1929. col C, p. 16. 

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