Dive Curacao

Scuba Mask Straps

Who Was Myrtle “Molly” Kool?

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
Myrtle "Molly" Kool
Original Photo. Credit Unknown: Public Domain

Myrtle “Molly” Kool (February 23, 1916–February 25, 2009) was a Canadian sea captain. She is regarded as one of the first registered female sea captains or ship masters in North America. She was among the first female Master Mariners in Canada. Captain Myrtle ‘Molly’ Kool was a pioneer in Canadian maritime history, becoming the first woman in North America to be certified as a Master of a Cargo Steamship in the Home Trade. At the time, this was one of the highest levels of qualification available in the maritime industry. Kool paved the way for subsequent generations of women in her field.

Kool was born in Alma, New Brunswick, the daughter of Myrtle Anderson and Paul Kool, a Dutch sailor. Born into a family of mariners in New Brunswick, she grew up on the water sailing, where she established a career and reputation as a courageous and fearless mariner. Kool was interested in obtaining her marine certifications and applied to the Merchant Marine School in Saint John, but was turned down. Nonetheless, she persevered and completed her mate’s certificate in 1939. After graduation, her father gave her the title of his scow, the Jean K. She captained it for five years and worked primarily in the pulp and paper trade in the Bay of Fundy.

Sea to Sky

Kool dealt with rain, fog, and ice as she hauled cargo up and down the East Coast, sometimes reaching as far south as Boston. Through her hard work, leadership, and determination, Kool earned the respect of her male colleagues, who constituted the vast majority of the maritime and shipping community at the time.

After her ship caught fire in 1944, Kool decided to marry Ray Blaisdell of Bucksport, Maine. Blaisdell died in the 1960s, and she remarried John Carney of Orrington, Maine. Kool eventually retired completely after losing both of her legs to a vascular disease.

Liquid Diving

Kool spent her final years in a senior care home in Bangor, Maine. She died of pneumonia in a Bangor hospital at the age of 93. Her ashes were scattered in Herring Cove on the Bay of Fundy, near where she was born.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool
CCGS Captain Molly Kool
Pburka, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2018, the Canadian Coast Guard named an icebreaker after her, CCGS Captain Molly Kool, and in 2019, a sailing ship was named in her honour.

A monument honouring her accomplishment was erected near Alma’s wharf. As of 2011, her childhood home was being rebuilt from the original remains, and an exhibit is planned for the Fundy National Park entrance.



About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

Leave a Reply

Dive Curacao

Scuba Mask Straps