Capt Myrtle Greta “Molly” <I>Kool</I> Carney

Photo added by Bob Hufford

Capt Myrtle Greta “Molly” Kool Carney

  • Birth 23 Feb 1916 Alma, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Death 25 Feb 2009 Bangor, Penobscot County, Maine, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
  • Memorial ID 34374549

Women's Pioneer. Called the "first Canadian feminist", she was the first North American female ship's captain. Raised on the Canadian coast, her father was a Dutch immigrant sea captain who taught her his own love for the water. After learning the skills of a sailor, she applied several times to the Merchant Marine School in St. John, New Brunswick, before being accepted. She got her Mate's license in 1937 and after three written tests and an arduous practical received her Master's papers in 1939. She telegraphed home simply "You can call me captain now"; the Canadian Shipping Act had to be amended to allow a lady captain (saying "he/she", rather than "he"). Her father turned his ship, the "Jean K", over to her, and for the next five years she carried cargo on the Bay of Fundy and down to Boston. Many stories were told: on one occasion, she was thrown overboard and grabbed a large piece of wood...she told her crew to quit throwing her life rings and send a boat. On another she successfully sued captain who had deliberately rammed the "Jean K". The "Jean K" burned in 1944...during the repairs Molly married, moved to Maine, and left the sea. She sold sewing machines for a number of years. Still, she never lost her touch; when the ship "Molly Kool" was launched in 2003 she was able to instruct the captain what to do when he had problems with the sails. She appeared on "Ripley's Believe It Or Not", her name was used as a lyric in a rock song, and New Brunswick is in the process of restoring her childhood home as a historic landmark.


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  • Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 2 Mar 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34374549
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Capt Myrtle Greta “Molly” Kool Carney (23 Feb 1916–25 Feb 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34374549, ; Maintained by Bob Hufford (contributor 46784943) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.