Friday, January 6, 2012

Steamer Strathairly ~ 24 March 1891

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891:

The most disastrous wreck of the year was that of the steamship Strathairly, of Newcastle, England, which occurred on March 24, 1891, a mile and a quarter south of the Chicamicomico Station (6th District), coast of North Carolina. Of her crew of 26 men, 19 were lost and but 7 were saved. The Strathairly, commanded by Captain William Wynne, of North Shields, was a schooner rigged screw steamer of 1236 tons register, bound from Santiago, Cuba, to Baltimore, MD, with a cargo of iron ore. She ran ashore at high water about 20 minutes before 5 o’clock in the morning, while it was yet dark. At that time a dense fog hung over land and sea, the wind was blowing fresh from the northward and eastward, and a heavy surf was breaking upon the shore. The deeply laden ship had grounded some four or five hundred yards from the beach. Distress signals were at once sounded with the steam whistle, and in 10 or 15 minutes they were answered by the red glare of a Coston light, burned by the patrolman of the Chicamicomico Station, who was on his south beat towards the Gull Shoal Station. This man at once hastened back to the station with the alarm, and in as short a time as it was possible for them to get there three crews were on the ground from Chicamicomico and the adjacent stations at Gull Shoal and New Inlet. It seems that keeper Wescott, immediately upon receiving the patrolman’s report, had telephoned to the Gull Shoal crew to come to his assistance. The keeper at New Inlet, on the other hand, some four or five miles northward, hearing the ominous tinkle of the telephone bell caused by the calling up of his distant neighbor, had sprung from his bed and rushed to the instrument just in time to catch the message that a steamer was ashore and the call for aid. This was enough for the veteran Midgett, and without waiting for a personal summons he awakened his crew and set out with them at once to the scene of the disaster. Lieutenant Failing, the district inspector, who was in the vicinity on his regular tour of inspection, was also early upon the ground, being summoned from his vessel, the Alert, lying in Pamlico Sound. This officer was an eyewitness of the unavailing efforts of the station crews to prevent so sad a loss of life, and when the tragedy was over took the statements of the survivors of the wreck. The following is from his report:

The Strathairly was built in 1876 in Middlesboro, United Kingdom by R. Dixon and Company. She operated between 1876 and 1891 as a tramp steamer with no regular route, and participated in the English and Cuban iron trade and Chinese immigration.
   As soon as the steamer struck she blew her whistle and it was quickly answered by the patrol, who then lost no time in reporting the wreck to keeper Wescott, of the Chicamicomico Station. The latter at once telephoned keeper Pugh, of the Goal Shoal Station, and then set out with his beach apparatus to the locality of the wreck and began operations. From the testimony of the survivors they heard a gun fired abreast of the wreck in less than half an hour afterwards. It also appears from this testimony that as soon as the vessel struck, orders were given to clear away the port of leeward lifeboat, and the crew had just got it ready to lower when the vessel gave a heavy lurch and the boat was smashed. At this time all the windward boats were also swept away, and all hope had to be given up of reaching the shore by the ship’s boats. The crew then took to the rigging, as he sea was breaking completely over the vessel, the captain, the first officer, and the chief engineer going aloft aft, and the rest forward. Very shortly after this the steamer commenced breaking in two. At about daybreak the mainmast fell over the side and took with it the captain, first officer, and chief engineer, who were lost. When keeper Wescott arrived at the wreck, which was at about 20 minutes to 6 o’clock, he sent one of his crew to notify me, as I was lying off the station in the sound, in the Government sloop.
     I arrived near the wreck at about 7 a.m. and found keepers Wescott and Pugh with their crews, but could see nothing of the steamer through the fog, although the cries of the unfortunate men could be heard distinctly. Wescott informed me that he had made an attempt to throw a No. 7 line on board as soon as he reached the ground, although he had not seen the vessel and had nothing but the sounds of voices to guide him. The fog hung low and nothing could be seen of the steamer until 10 o’clock. Long before this, however, keeper L.B. Midgett and the crew of the New Inlet Station had arrived. In the mean time, in addition to the beach apparatus, the surfboat, several spare shot lines, projectiles, and an extra supply of powder had been brought to the scene. When at last the vessel could be made out through the slowly vanishing fog it became apparent that she had broken in two, and that all the people alive were at the bow. The first shot after this was with a six-ounce charge. Its shot fell short, the line attached being a No. 7.
     The next shot also fell short. A No. 4, or the smallest-sized line, was then brought into use, and this was landed at the forecastle. As soon as it was seen that the sailors had it, a No. 9 or large line was bent to the smaller one, and it was drawn off in good shape until within a few yards of the vessel when the small line, unable to bear the strain exerted upon it by the longshore current, parted and the attempt had to be made over again. Being prepared for such a contingency no time was lost by the station men, the next shot carrying a No. 7 or medium-sized line. The powder charge was eight ounces. The shot struck the forward rail and the men on board got this line also. A No. 9 line was then bent to it by the surfmen, but the sailors hauled it off very slowly, the current carrying the bight so far to the leeward that gathering the line in was slow and laborious work. To this line the whip was attached and there seemed a good prospect of success at last crowning the joint efforts of the surfmen and the sailors, but before the whip block got more than half way to the ship the stout No. 7 line broke and the situation was as bad as before. In this way effort after effort was made to send the gear off until after 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the gun being fired as fast as the lines could be faked down.
     By this time it was plain to the men on the beach that something must be wrong on board the ship as no less than five shots had been successful in landing the lines and only two or three men could be seen at work supplementing the labors of the surfmen. This is explained by the statement of the second mate, the only surviving officer, that but tree were in condition to do anything, the rest having scarcely any clothing on and being too benumbed and helpless from exposure. Had the sailors succeeded in reaching the No. 9 line it was the final resolve of those on the beach to send off the whip by its single part and, if this in turn reached the ship, then send the block off and rig the gear any way that was possible. At about non one of the seamen, Albert Smith, jumped overboard with a lifebelt on, and after a desperate struggle in the surf was pulled out by the surfmen, unconscious and nearly dead. He was promptly removed to he dwelling of ex-keeper John Allen Midgett near by, where a detail of men put into practice the method for resuscitation of the apparently drowned, and he was finally brought to.
     Shortly after 3 in the afternoon a No. 4 line was landed on the vessel, and to this was attached the next size larger, a No. 7. Three or four men were seen hauling it off, but the smaller line snapped in two when the bend of the No. 7 line was within a few feet of the steamer, and communication was thus again broken. By this time the flood tide was again sweeping in; every shot line had been used and was wet and heavy. The surf also was so high that no boat could live in it. Under these circumstances the surfmen were becoming disheartened. They had labored hard since early morning to effect communication with the ship and rig the gear for the purpose of saving the crew, and every effort had failed. The ship was an unusually great distance from the shore; it was impossible to use the boat, and the life-saving crews seemed to have reached the limit of their resources. The day also was fast waning, and the situation of the sailors was desperate. At 20 minutes before 5 o’clock, just 12 hours after the stranding of their vessel, the sailors were heard shouting to those on shore, and then one by one they jumped into the sea for a final effort to save themselves by swimming, each man being provided with a life belt. It appears in the testimony that at this time, in addition to the loss of the three officers previously mentioned, the second engineer and the cook were also dead. As fast as the poor fellows jumped overboard and began their struggle towards the shore they were swept by the current to the southward. The surfmen and the inhabitants of the neighboring settlements, many of whom had been present on the beach all day, at once followed them, and at great risk to themselves, in wading out into the surf, succeeded in dragging 16 men out of the water. Ten of this number were, however, dead by the time they were reached. Immediate efforts were made to resuscitate them, but without avail. The survivors testify that before they jumped from the ill-fated vessel they were fully satisfied that such a course was their only hope, that no boat could have reached them, and that even if a large line could have reached them then they had not strength enough and were in no condition to rig the gear. N from the moment they reached this conclusion would there have been opportunity to do anything, for in about 20 minutes from the time they abandoned the wreck by jumping into the surf, the foremast went by the board, and very soon thereafter all vestige of the steamer disappeared. In conclusion, I would respectfully say, from personal observation, that every man of these three crews did his duty and used every effort to rescue the shipwrecked sailors. In my judgement, it is plain from the statements of the survivors that the terrible loss of life is in no way attributable to neglect or inefficiency on the on the part of the life saving crews.
     John Northcote, ordinary seaman, was so far gone when taken from the surf that he also had to be carried to Capt. John Allen Midgett’s house, where restoratives were applied, and by working on him until after midnight his life was saved. Both Smith and Northcote were moved to the station the following day. The other five men, also greatly prostrated by exposure and their struggles in the surf, where immediately taken to comfortable quarters in the station, where they were provided with dry clothing from the supply donated by the Women’s National Relief Association.
     The 10 bodies taken out of the surf were carried to the station, placed in boxes made by the life saving men, a minister was sent for, and they were buried on the morning of the 26th near the station. The men saved are being well cared for by the Chicamicomic crew, and will be sent to Elizabeth City, NC, by the first vessel, and thence transportation will be given them to Norfolk, VA. The following is a list of the saved and lost:

     Saved: R. Turner, second officer; George Simpson, boatswain; Albert Smith, seaman; John Wahler, seaman; C. Northcote, orginary seaman; John Campbell, fireman; William McArthur, fireman.
     Drowned, bodies recovered and buried by the station crews: John Blakey, third engineer; John T. Kennedy, steward; John Grandy, lamp trimmer; William McGougill, seaman; M. Lisk, seaman; Peter Hansen, seaman; William Hayward, donkeyman; James Steward, fireman; Walter Angus, fireman; and George Angus, fireman. The two latter were brothers.
     Drowned, bodies not recovered: William Wynne, master; James Watson, first officer; D. Frazier, chief engineer; Charles Witham, second engineer; Alexander Coull, carpenter; William Smith, fireman; John Barron, fireman; and two others, the cook, a colored man, and the mess room boy, whose names are unknown.
     The following letter was received in connection with this sad affair:

CHICAMICOMICO STATION, March 26, 1891

DEAR SIR: We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the keepers and crews of Chicamicomico, Gull Shoal, and New Inlet stations for the brave and noble service rendered to us by them on March 24, in rescuing us from the surf, as it was impossible for us to gain a footing in our exhausted condition, also for the kind attention we received at their quarters; and we also thank the Women’s National Relief Association for the clothing we received, as were utterly destitute of clothing. Expressions of thanks are but a feeble return for such services, but we hope they will be accepted and prove a source of encouragement to the noble workers in future times of peril. Most respectfully, we remain yours, R. TURNER, Second officer ; G. SIMPSON, Boatswain ; W. McARTHUR ; J. CAMPBELL ; ALBERT SMITH ; JOHN WALER ; C. NORTHCOTE

JUST IN! / January 20, 2018

I am pleased to share this photo of the ship's bell from the steamer Strathairly, just in from Glenn Love of Charlotte, NC. 

"I enjoyed reading your post about one particular shipwreck on your website. In the 1960s, my father bought the ship’s bell that was on the Strathairly and passed it on to me before he passed away in 1998. As I recall, the bell was recovered by a dive team and ended up for sale in a maritime store in Wilmington, NC (I believe) where my father found it and purchased it. He had the bell restored and mounted on a cedar post outside their home on Lake Norman where it stayed for almost 30 years. Today I have the bell mounted on that same cedar post on my back deck. Thank you again for the information you shared about the Strathairly on your website."

THANK YOU, GLENN!

Bark Spero ~ 24 December 1910

Annual Report for the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1911:

The Norwegian bark Spero, of 679 tons register, bound from Barbadoes, West Indies, to New York with a crew of 12 men, stranded before daylight on Hatteras Beach, 2 miles southwest of the Durants (NC) station. Before she struck, the patrol burned a Coston signal to warn her away, but apparently the warning was unheeded, for she failed to change her course. The station lookout saw the patrolman’s warning signal and called all hands. Upon the patrolman’s arrival at the station with the news the Creeds Hill crew were notified by telephone, after which the Durants crew hurried along the beach to the scene with the beach apparatus. A line was fired across the wreck, which lay 300 yards offshore. The Creeds Hill crew arriving at this juncture, assisted in the work of rigging up the apparatus. This accomplished, 9 men—all that were on the wreck—were landed, the three others in the crew having made shore in a boat before the arrival of the life-savers. The shipwrecked men were succored at the Durants station until their departure, four days later. The Spero became a total loss.

St. Catharis ~ 16 April 1891

They say you can still see the bloodstains on the floor of the old Chicamacomico Station for many of the bodies recovered from the surf following the wreck of the Strathairly were badly cut and bruised from striking pieces of wreckage. Others will say the bloodstains are from the 90 crewmen reported lost on the St. Catharis. But the plain truth is there was no such wreck ... the whole story is the result of a series of coincidences, misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

In 1892 the following notation was included in a listing of ship losses for the year 1891: "British ship St. Catharis wrecked off Caroline Islands, April 16." In more recent years the World Almanac and Book of Facts, in listing marine disasters included: "April 16 (1891) British ship St. Catharis wrecked off Carolina Island."

Somewhere along the line, the letter "e" on the end of "Caroline" seems to have been supplanted by an "a", likely through typographical error. This doesn't account for the widespread story that the St. Catharis was wrecked at the exact point of Chicamacomico and that 90 seamen are buried there. The origin of this is the following published statement: "Close by the station (Chicamacomico) is the burial mound of British seamen drowned in the wreck of the St. Catharis, Apr. 16, 1891, in which 90 lives were lost." (North Carolina, A Guide to the Old North State, Federal Writers' Project, WPA, Chapel Hill, 1939, page 300.)

This statement has been sited as the authentic basis for more recent reprints of the St. Catharis story. But there is no mention of such a wreck in the official reports of the United States Life-saving Service; neither is any mention found in contemporary publications. Though there are folks living on the outer banks who say they remember their parents telling about the terrible wreck of the St. Catharis, two men, both living in the area at the time of the wreck, said there was no such wreck there.

Probable reasons for the unfounded stories of the wreck of the St. Catharis ...
  • Within a month's time two large ships were lost.
  • Both were British ships
  • The St. Catharis was lost off the Caroline Islands in the Pacific and the Strathairly was lost on one of the islands off the North Carolina coast.
  • The loss of the St. Catharis was mentioned in listings of great ship losses at that time.
  • The listing was reprinted many years later, and the letter "e" on the end of the word "Caroline" was somehow changed to "a".
  • A WPA writer, coming across the mention of loss "off Carolina Island" checks with local residents of the islands off the Carolina coast. They remember hearing of a large vessel wrecked in the spring of 1891 ... a British craft ... a number of people drowned ... and, yes, the name was something like St. Catharis.
Thus, through a combination of errors and stories handed down from deceased ancestors, people began to accept as fact the published statements that the British ship St. Catharis was wrecked at Chicamacomico on April 16, 1891, killing 90 people who were laid out on the floor of the old Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station until the floor was covered with blood. but in reality, the St. Catharis sank thousands of miles away from the NC Coast!

Schooner St. Johns ~ 21 March 1890

The Wilmington Weekly Star
Wilmington, NC
March 21, 1890

"Near Hatteras Inlet - Schooner St. Johns, of Belfast, Maine, from Jacksonville to Baltimore, with a cargo of lumber, is reported ashore 4 miles above the life saving station at Hatteras Inlet. Seven of the crew were saved, but one, Henry Saunders, was drowned. The vessel is full of water and is a total loss."

Schooner Samuel B. Grice ~ 27 Jauary 1885

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1885:

While on day watch the morning of January 27, Surfman H.H. Balance sighted a schooner that appeared to be ashore near Ocracoke Village, about 13 miles away. The vessel proved to be the schooner Samuel B. Grice. Keeper Howard’s report follows: The schooner not having no signals hoisted Keeper (took) horse, rode to the Island finding her ashore as stated. Getting in with one of the citisons that was going aboard … He sead he did not (want assistance) he had got some men for to get her off. I gave him my advice so went ashore returning to the station. Nex morning, 6 a.m. … before they cold get her off the wind shifted in the NW blew very fresh. The sch sunk loosing cargo, vessel and sold her and all the next day. February 6th, 1885 Jas W. Howard, Keeper.

Schooner Sallie Bissell ~ 4 March 1895

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1895:

Stranded on a shoal 3-1/2 miles east of station, in a dangerous position; blowing hard and a heavy sea running. Keeper summoned volunteers (station a new one and regular crew not yet engaged) and rescued the crew of 5 men, succoring them at station four days; on the 8th secured them transportation to Newbern on schooner Virginia Dare. Had crew been left on schooner till flood tide they would have been lost as she then pounded over the shoal into deep water and sunk. Put notice on masts of wreck forbidding their removal, as she would then be a dangerous obstruction to navigation.

Schooner S.G. Hart ~ 10 August 1898

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899:

Stranded about ¾ mile NE. of station, an outer reef. Patrolman, who discovered her at 3 a.m., immediately burned a Coston signal and reported the casualty to the keeper. Life savers at once launched surf boat and pulled out to stranded vessel. Her master at first declined to leave her, as he thought that she and the cargo might be saved, but he soon found that she was rapidly filling, and was glad to avail himself of the chance to get on shore. Surf boat took 6 seamen to the beach, with all their personal property; then returned to wreck and took off captain and mate, with their belongings and the ship’s nautical instruments. The crews from Big Kinnakeet and Gull Shoal stations had now arrived, also the life saving team of horses, and were ready to give assistance. Saved small boat from the wreck, and carted all the property and the surf boat to station with the team. On the following day the surfmen helped the master land stores from the wreck in the schooner’s boat, the surf having smoothed down. Sheltered and fed crew from the wreck at station for 6 days before they were transported to their homes. (See letters of acknowledgment.)

LITTLE KINNAKEET, NORTH CAROLINA, August 12, 1898

SIR: I desire to express my thanks for the prompt service rendered to me by the keeper of the Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station at the wreck of the American schooner S.G. Hart, on the beach three-quarters of a mile above Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station on August 10, 1898. By the advice of the keeper we saved our effects in good condition and also our nautical instruments. He deemed it necessary to remove things at once, which proved to be none too soon. Respectfully yours, C.M. SAWYER, Late Master of the American Schooner S.G. Hart

Schooner S. Warren Hall ~ 5 April 1898

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1898:

Missed stays and stranded in the breakers on Ocracoke Bar during a strong SW. breeze and heavy surf. Station crew pulled out but were unable to reach her on account of the surf; anchored surf boat and awaited a favorable chance, and at 9.30 next morning succeeded in getting alongside after two abortive attempts. Crew were in the rigging, but all were taken off (there were 6 all told) and conveyed to the station, where they were cared for and fitted out with clothing from the stores of the Women’s National Relief Association. (See card of thanks under caption “Letters of acknowledgment.”)

CARD OF THANKS

We desire to give our heartfelt thanks to Captain Terrell and crew, of the Portsmouth Life-Saving Station, for saving our lives when wrecked on the schooner S. Warren Hall and for their kind and brotherly attention to all our wants. Braver and more gallant men never lived, and we shall remember them to our dying hour with love and regard. E.W. HILL, Captain ; MATTHEW NELMIDLATE, Mate ; ALFRED COLLINS ; HAYWARD K. HOWERTON ; CHAS. GORDNOR ; MANUEL PEREILA, Seamen

Schooner Samuel W. Tilton ~ 17 February 1898

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1898:

Stranded in heavy surf ½ mile ESE. From station. Keeper called up Gull Shoal and New Inlet stations and then proceeded to the scene with beach apparatus. After firing two shots from Lyle gun, communication was established with the wreck and the apparatus was soon ready. Landed all hands, 9 in number, in three trips of the life car, and brought off some of the personal effects. On the 18th took master and mate on board and secured the log book and more personal effects. The whole ship’s company were kept at the station until the 19th, when six of them left for Elizabeth City. The other three, together with the owner, who arrived on the 21st, were furnished board and lodging until the 24th, when the wreck was sold. (See letter of acknowledgement.)

CHICAMACOMICO LIFE-SAVING STATION, NORTH CAROLINA, February 23, 1898

SIR: We were shipwrecked on February 17, 1898, on Chicamacomico Beach, North Carolina, and were rescued by the life-saving crew at that point, assisted by the crews of the adjoining stations. They were prompt and quick in landing us, and we received the very best treatment while at the station. We would further state that the life car far excels anything we have yet seen for saving life. Very respectfully, W.R. SMITH, Master ; GEORGE W. LOUD, Mate ; FELIX ALLEN, Steward of the Schooner Samuel W. Tilton

Newspaper Article:
New York Times, February 18, 1898

Schooner Sue Williams ~ 22 March 1890

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890:

March 22-26. Shortly after 8 o’clock in the evening of the first of these dates, and just as the north patrol from the Chicamicomico Station, (Sixth District) coast of North Carolina, and the south patrol from the New Inlet Station met at the outer limit of their respective beats, a large schooner was observed by them to emerge from the haze overhanging the ocean and strand a short distance down the beach. Both patrolmen hurried to a point abreast of the vessel, which was some four hundred yards off the shore and two miles from the first-mentioned station, burned several Coston signals, and then hastened away to procure the assistance of their respective crews. The keeper of the Chicamicomico Station telephoned the Gull Shoal Station of the disaster, after which he lost no time in proceeding to the scene with his men, taking the beach apparatus. The surfmen of the New Inlet Station started out with their surfboat, but, the wind being strong from the south-southwest and directly in their faces, progress was exceedingly slow, therefore the boat was soon abandoned and the men hastened down the beach with all speed, passed the schooner, and continued on to meet and assist the other crew. Their help proved effective, and all arrived abreast of the stranded vessel at half-past 9 o’clock. At the second shot, line communication was established with her. The first shot failed owing to the distance of the craft from the shore and the size of the line (No. 9) attached to the projectile. In hauling off the double whip it was fouled so badly by the strong current running up the beach that it could not be cleared from either end. A little delay was here occasioned in waiting for the surfboat, for which men had been dispatched when they were no longer needed for the apparatus cart, but when it arrived it was at once launched and pulled out far enough to disentangle the whip and to direct the people on the schooner how to proceed. The sea was too rough to permit a close approach to the vessel. The gear was soon in working order, and six sailors were landed, one at a time, by means of the breeches buoy. It was not half-past 3 o’clock in the morning of the 23d, and the rescued men were sent to the station. The captain and his two mates—there were nine, all told, in the crew—remained on board until about 7 o’clock, when, the sea having quieted sufficiently, the life-savers brought them ashore in the surfboat and conducted them to the station. The crew from the Gull Shoal Station reached the scene in time to render considerable assistance. No more trips could be made to the vessel that day, and the following morning the crews of the Chicamicomico and New Inlet Stations made two fruitless attempts to reach her. She was lying amongst the bar breakers off Loggerhead Inlet. Both life-saving crews were again on the scene early on the 25th, and three successful trips were made to the wreck. The clothing of the crew, some small articles of the vessel’s outfit, and two boats were landed. As nothing more could be done, the surfboat and such of the gear as was yet on the beach were taken to the station. On the 26th wreckers arrived, assumed charge of the craft, and, as it was seen that she could not be saved, began to strip her. The unfortunate vessel was the three-masted schooner Sue Williams, of and for Richmond, Virginia, with a cargo of phosphate rock from Charleston, South Carolina. In running up the coast the captain undoubtedly misjudged his distance off the shore in the squally, hazy weather; hence the disaster Vessel and cargo proved a total loss. The shipwrecked sailors were cared for at the Chicamicomico Station until the 28th, but the captain remained with the life-savers ten days. He gratefully acknowledged the services of the rescuers of himself and crew in the following letter to the assistant inspector of life-saving stations, Sixth District:

CHICAMICOMICO, NORTH CAROLINA, March 27, 1890

“DEAR SIR: I wish to convey to you my appreciation of the worth of the Life-Saving Service, as exemplified in the case of the schooner Sue Williams, stranded near the Chicamicomico Station on the evening of the 22d instant. It was less than an hour and a half from the time the patrol first signaled us until the life-savers arrived abreast of the schooner with their beach gear. At the second shot the projectile passed through the foresail, landing the line right across the deck. The gear was rigged, and six of my crew were landed before morning in the breeches buoy. In the meantime, however, the surfboat was launched and came within speaking distance of us, when she put back, it being too rough for her to come alongside. At daylight the boat, handled by L.B. Midgett, jr., keeper of the New Inlet Life-Saving Station, was pulled to the schooner and the three remaining members of her crew, together with such clothing as was handy at the time, were taken ashore. For these services I tender sincere thanks, both for myself and my crew. And for the kindness and attention we have received while at this station I cannot speak too highly, having had all, and more, done for us than was asked. In conclusion I must say that these men are a credit to the Life-Saving Service and should receive the thanks of the followers of the sea, as well as the commendation of you and others having in charge this branch of the Government service. Allow me to thank you, as well as them, for their efficient service. I am, sir, very truly yours, E.L. Pearce, Late Master of Schooner Sue Williams.”

Schooner Samuel W. Hall ~ 24 December 1897


Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1898:

Stranded on the beach at 4.20 a.m., ¼ mile NE. of station. Keeper notified New Inlet and Gull Shoal stations, and then started out with the surfboat. The heavy sea and strong current made it inadvisable, if not impossible, to launch the boat, and therefore the beach apparatus was hurried to the scene. By this time the crews from the other two stations arrived, and a line was fired over the vessel and the hawser was soon set up. Four men were safely landed, but the hawser chafed through and parted under the crosstrees while the fifth was being hauled ashore. Life savers hauled him through the surf in safety, sent off the hawser again, and finally landed the last two men. Took them all to the station for shelter and succor. Next day the surfmen boarded the schooner, furled sail, and landed the stoves and provisions. On the 27th the 6 seamen left for Norfolk; on the 29th the vessel was condemned by board of survey and was stripped of her rigging, and on January 19, the cargo having been disposed of, the master left the station. (See letter of acknowledgment.)

CHICAMACOMICO LIFE-SAVING STATION, NORTH CAROLINA, January 18, 1898

SIR: Please accept thanks from me for the valuable services rendered by the keeper and crew of this station and the keepers and crews of the New Inlet and Gull Shoal stations in saving me and my crew from a watery grave at the wreck of my vessel on December 24, 1897, near this station. I also wish to mention the kind treatment to myself and crew while at the station. Respectfully submitted, THOMAS MUMFORD, Master of Schooner Samuel W. Hall

Steamer Seabright ~ 18 September 1901

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1902:

Grounded off entrance to Baldhead Creek, while towing a scow, and set signals for assistance. Surfmen went to her in the lifeboat and took the master to Southport, so that he might communicate with her owners. Then they returned to the steamer with provisions for the crew, the supply on board having become exhausted.

Sloop Sally ~ 4 May 1772

"Captain Hunt, in the sloop Sally, from New York to Charles-Town, was cast away the 4th of May, on Cape Look-Out shoals, 10 leagues from land. 7 killed, 15 saved." (Edinburg Evening Courant, Scotland, July 25, 1772)

Schooner Sunbeam ~ 17 December 1919

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920.

Two exhibitions of individual bravery, prompted by circumstances of the moment and involving quick action are mentioned in the report made by the commanding officer of the Manning in the case of the Sunbeam. Boatswain Albert Hays and Seaman Jens Krestensen were the men whose conduct was the subject of such notice. Both received, also, the commendation of headquarters.
     While the work of picking up members of the Sunbeam’s hapless company was under way a line with some wreckage attached to it was pulled alongside the cutter. A man lay entangled in the debris, whether alive or dead nobody could say. Hays, at the end of a bowline, was lowered over the ship’s side into the icy cold of the December seas beating incessantly against the cutter and fastened the line about the man’s body. When the two were hauled on board the man was found to be beyond human help, but this circumstances did not detract one whit from the merit of Hays’s performance.
     Seaman Krestensen, going overboard from the cutter’s forecastle, performed an identical service in the case of another man from the Sunbeam, identical except as to results—the man fished out of the sea through his efforts was alive.

THE SINKING OF THE SUNBEAM

On November 27, 1919, the 137-ton Cuban schooner Sunbeam left Habana, Cuba, for New York with a cargo of molasses. She carried a crew of 7 men and had 18 passengers. That a vessel of such small tonnage should have on board so many passengers on a 1,500-mile voyage at sea during the season of storms was unusual in itself, and the circumstance that her passengers were Chinese was calculated to excite question as to the real mission of the vessel, bound as she was to a port in the United States.
     Whatever the actual business of the schooner, she was not destined to complete her northward trip. Having fought her way up the American coast from Jupiter Light, FL, in a succession of heavy gales, she went down off the North Carolina coast in the early morning of December 16, and 2 of her crew and 16 of her passengers perished. That there were any survivors at all was due solely to the fact that in her last hours afloat she was attended by the Coast Guard cutter Manning.
     On the morning of the 14th, when the little vessel was somewhere off North Carolina, she was reported by a passing steamer to be in need of a towing steamer. The vessel reporting her did not offer her any assistance, but sent out a wireless call stating her condition and giving her position. The message was picked up by the Manning at Norfolk, VA.
     The cutter promptly put to sea. A search lasting two days was made for the schooner, but her position was not ascertained by the Manning until mid-afternoon of the 16th, when a message from the steamer Chicomico was picked up stating that that vessel had found her and taken her in tow. The Chicomico gave the Sunbeam’s position and asked the cutter to come and take charge of the craft.
     Three or four hours later the Manning appeared on the scene, shot a line to the schooner, and passed a hawser on board. The Chicomico thereupon went on her way.
     The message sent out by the Chicomico had stated that nothing was wrong with the schooner “except a few sails torn up.” When the cutter appeared the prospect of saving her was still good; more favorable, in fact, than is found in many instances of successful assistance extended by service cutters to vessels disabled at sea. The Sunbeam and her consort had not covered many miles, however, when wind and sea began to rise, compelling the cutter to slow down until her speed was little more than enough to maintain steerage way. The darkness, moreover, added to the difficulties of the cutter’s task. It was so intense that the vessel on the towing hawser could not be seen from the cutter.
     Along toward midnight, as cutter and tow were laboring heavily in a steadily rising sea, a flash of light was seen on the schooner__evidently a signal to slow down. Speed was accordingly still further reduced. Only the one flash was observed.
     Scarcely perceptible headway was maintained for a matter of two or three hours, when, toward morning, a sudden easing up of the strain on the towline told those on board the cutter that the schooner had broken away.
     It was entirely out of the question to pick the vessel up in the darkness and the sea that prevailed. The cutter could do nothing, therefore, but stand by and await the dawn. From time to time during the hours that ensued until daylight, the cutter’s searchlight played upon the schooner as she wallowed helplessly in the trough of the sea. There was nothing in her appearance, however, to suggest that she would not be able to live until the cutter could get another line on her.
     As soon as it was light enough to see the Manning took a position parallel with the vessel and on her starboard side, prepared to put a hawser on board by means of the shoulder gun. Before the cutter had an opportunity to carry out this intention, however, the Sunbeam settled by the head and rolled over to port. A few minutes later she went down.
     A boat with two men in it was seen to leave the schooner shortly before she sank. The boatmen succeeded after a hard fight in pulling in under the cutter’s port quarter and were taken on board.
     The sea was so high that had a boat been sent away from the cutter into the debris from the schooner it would have stood little chance of accomplishing its errand, much less of escaping disaster. There was only one other way in which a rescue could be accomplished, if at all, namely, to back the cutter to windward and allow her to drift down to the men in the water. This course was resorted to, and as the cutter maneuvered in the execution of the plan two life rafts and some life buoys were payed off over her rail.
     By alternately going ahead and backing the Manning succeeded in getting rafts and buoys within reach of some of those who had kept afloat by holding on to wreckage. Five men were taken from the water in this way. A close search of the locality following the rescue of these men failed to disclose any other victims of the night’s tragic occurrence.
     Individual initiative and courage are two important requisites in the profession of life-saving, and the display of these qualities by members of the Coast Guard is taken as a matter of course. Indeed, no man lacking resourcefulness and nerve can long remain in a service whose business carries with it so much of the element of personal hazard. Since a member of the corps is likely to be called upon at any time to risk his life, it follows that he must needs do something quite out of the ordinary to elicit the praise of his commanding officer or to attract departmental attention. Such recognition is sometimes earned by an act of individual bravery inspired by the exigencies of the moment; or it may be won by a cutter or a station crew in the performance of a difficult or dangerous task, deliberately planned.
     Two exhibitions of individual bravery, prompted by circumstances of the moment and involving quick action are mentioned in the report made by the commanding officer of the Manning in the case of the Sunbeam. Boatswain Albert Hays and Seaman Jens Krestensen were the men whose conduct was the subject of such notice. Both received, also, the commendation of headquarters.
     While the work of picking up members of the Sunbeam’s hapless company was under way a line with some wreckage attached to it was pulled alongside the cutter. A man lay entangled in the debris, whether alive or dead nobody could say. Hays, at the end of a bowline, was lowered over the ship’s side into the icy cold of the December seas beating incessantly against the cutter and fastened the line around the man’s body. When the two were hauled on board the man was found to be beyond human help, but this circumstance did not detract one whit from the merit of Hays’s performance.
     Seaman Krestensen, going overboard from the cutter’s forecastle, performed an identical service in the case of another man from the Sunbeam, identical except as to results—the man fished out of the sea through his efforts was alive.

Schooner Scud ~ 1886

Schooner Scud en route to Hatteras from Norfolk, VA under the command of Captain Broker and one crewman when she sank four miles NE of the Hatteras Inlet station.

Schooner L. Strudivant ~ 18 May 1876

The Morning Star, Wilmington, May 18, 1876 reported the following:


Beaufort Eagle: A telegram from Cape Hatteras to B.L. Perry, agent for Underwriters, informs him that the schooner L. Strudivant, from Newberne for New York, with a cargo of shingles, is sunk at Hatteras Inlet. No lives were lost.

Schooner Savannah ~ 2 April 1753

Built in Philadelphia in 1752 / Master Robert James / 30 tons, 0 guns, 5 men. 

"Capt. James, in the schooner Savannah, who sailed from hence [New Bern] ... bound for South Carolina, is cast away near Old Topsail Inlet. The cargo, mostly Indian corn, entirely damaged, but the sails and rigging saved." (Boston Gazette, May 17, 1753)

Schooner Sarah D.J. Rawson ~ 9 February 1905

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1905:

The three-masted schooner Sarah D.J. Rawson, of 387 gross tons and carrying a crew of 7 men, sailed from Georgetown, SC, for New York, with a full cargo of lumber on February 2, 1905. At 5.30 a.m. on the 9th following, while standing to the northward under short canvas in a SSE. Gale, with thick fog and rough sea, the vessel stranded in the breakers on the S. side of Lookout Shoals. As soon as she struck, the master gave orders to take in sail, and while the crew were performing this work one of them, Seaman Jacob Hanson, was swept overboard and lost his life. At 12.06 p.m. the keeper and lookout at the station, 9 miles N. by W. from the wreck, discovered the vessel through a rift in the fog and the lifeboat was at once called away and manned. Under sails and oars she reached the place of disaster at 4 p.m. The Rawson lay in a seething mass of breakers, badly dismantled and surrounded by drifting wreckage, so that all efforts of the lifesavers to reach her were vain. Fortunately, enough of the hull and bulwarks remained intact to afford somewhat of a shelter for her crew, 6 men. Night soon came on, and the lifesavers brought their boat to an anchor and throughout the night kept watch upon the wreck, hoping, should it break up, that they might be able to pick up the crew. At 11 a.m. the following day the wind had shifted and the sea become a little smoother. The surfmen then anchored the lifeboat to windward of the wreck, and by veering upon the cable and heaving a line to the shipwrecked men, succeeded, one by one, in hauling all hands safely into the boat. The rescued men were taken to the station, provided with dry clothing from the stores of the Women’s National Relief Association, and succored until the 12th instant, when the U.S. revenue cutter Seminole took them on board and carried them to Wilmington, C. The Rawson broke to pieces and disappeared soon after the rescue of the crew was accomplished. (For detailed accounts, see caption “Loss of Life.”)

Wreck of the Schooner Sarah D.J. Rawson

The three-masted schooner Sarah D.J. Rawson, of 387 gross tons burden, and carrying a crew of 7 men, all told, sailed from Georgetown, SC, for New York with a full cargo of lumber, on February 2, 1905. At 5.30 p.m. of the 9th, following, while standing to the northward under short canvas, in a SSE. Gale, with a thick fog and rough sea, the vessel stranded in the breakers on the south side of Lookout Shoals, and, with her cargo, became a total loss.
     As soon as the schooner struck the master gave orders to take in sail. While the crew were performing this work, a heavy sea swept the decks, carrying Jacob Hansen, a Norwegian seaman, into the raging surf, where he soon disappeared and was seen no more. The same sea struck the master and 3 other seamen, and it was only by the most desperate efforts that they were able to cling to the vessel. The schooner gradually worked up on the shoal and lay somewhat easier, but the violent onslaughts of the seas breaking over her soon carried away her boat, together with deck houses fore and aft, started her deck load of lumber, and her spars began to fall. The crew, powerless to do anything for the vessel, sought refuge in the highest part of the wreck, their situation gloomy and almost hopeless.
     At Cape Lookout Life-Saving Station, about 9 miles N. by W. from the place of the disaster, a vigilant lookout had been maintained during the day, the keeper in person visiting the tower during the morning and forenoon, and a surfman constantly on watch, but a thick mantle of fog covered the ocean, shutting the doomed vessel from view. At noon, just as the lookout had been relieved, the keeper again climbed into the tower, and at 12.05 p.m., while scanning the sea with the glasses, he caught, through a rift in the fog, a glimpse of the schooner’s topmost spars. Knowing from her bearings that she probably was upon the shoal, he immediately called away the lifeboat, every member of the crew promptly responding.
     Though the testimony taken in this case shows that the men were nearly all more or less ill, there having been an epidemic of influenza at the station, not one shrank from what all knew must at best be a long and wearisome pull in wintry weather over 18 miles of rough sea. The wind being favorable, a light WSW. Breeze, the surfmen made sail, and with 8 men at the oars were off to the wreck within 25 minutes of the time it was discovered by the keeper, and a 4 p.m. reached the scene of the disaster. The schooner lay upon her starboard side in the midst of a seething mass of breakers, her bowsprit, foremast, main topmast, and deck houses fore and aft gone, and her stern to the mizzen rigging carried away. She was surrounded by wreckage and lumber, which, pitching and beating upon the breakers threatened the safety of the lifeboat and the lives of its crew. The crew of the Rawson, 6 in number, could be seen by the surfmen, and though the latter repeatedly attempted to make their way through the mass of debris, they could not approach the wreck nearer than about 200 yards, when they would be beaten back. The master of the schooner, watching his would-be rescuers, stated that he momentarily expected to see the lifeboat pitched end over end in the turbulent sea, and this, without doubt, would have occurred, but for the cool and skillful management of the keeper and crew.
     Night soon came on and the life-saving crew anchored near the edge of the breakers, hoping, as stated by the keeper, that in case of the schooner’s going to pieces they still might be able to rescue some or all of the sailors. They maintained a vigilant lookout, frequently fending off fragments of wreckage that menaced their boat, until after midnight, when the wind increased in force, hauling to NW. with the weather still thick, and much colder. The crew then shifted the lifeboat to an anchorage about 500 yards to windward, in order, as the keeper states, that should worst come to worst they might be able to weather the shoal and put to sea. Throughout the long, tedious night the surfmen suffered greatly in their open boat from exposure, fatigue, and hunger, but the keeper maintained his post, giving encouragement to his crew, and urging them not to fall asleep, for fear of disastrous results in their debilitated condition.
     At dawn they returned to the wreck and found that, while her remaining masts had gone by the board, a portion of the hull remained intact, and the crew had survived the perils of the night. The sea was still running very high, and the keeper decided to defer the attempt to rescue the crew until the tide turned, when he rightly judged that conditions would improve. At about 11 a.m. the wind and sea moderated somewhat, and the life-savers pulled to a position about 50 yards to windward of the wreck (to windward by both wind and tide) and anchored. By veering carefully upon the cable, and steadying the boat with the oars, they dropped in among the breakers and debris as far as possible, and succeeded in throwing a heaving line on board the schooner. Then one of the seamen bent the line around his waist, jumped into the sea, and was hauled into the lifeboat. His companions followed his example, and, one by one, all hands were rescued—drenched, chilled, and nearly exhausted, but safe. The surfmen removed their own oil coats, wrapping them about the shipwrecked men, and without mishap made the return trip to the station, arriving at about 5 p.m. The crew of the Rawson had been 48 hours without food or water, and the life-saving crew had spent 28 hours in an open boat, without food, and with no other nourishment than cold water, their limbs cramped with cold and the lack of room to move about, and their bodies aching from maintaining so long in a sitting posture. That the wrecked crew had not succumbed to their terrible ordeal is doubtless due to the fact that the vessel lay so nearly on her beam ends as to afford them something of a lee from the wintry NW. wind sweeping over them.
     The rescued men were furnished food and shelter at the station, also with clothing from the supplies of the Women’s National Relief Association, but this stock becoming exhausted the surfmen supplemented it from their own stores. The master of the Rawson was cared for part of the time by a personal friend, whom he found in command of the schooner Lottie W. Russell, at anchor in Lookout Bight. No member of the crew had suffered serious injury, though one seaman was afflicted by an attack of rheumatism and when removed from the station was transported upon a stretcher.
     On the 12th instant the revenue cutter Seminole arrived in Lookout Bight, and the following day at 2 p.m. she took the crew of the Rawson on board and carried them to Wilmington, NC.
     The loss of one life at this disaster occurred a very short time after the vessel struck, when all hands were in extreme jeopardy, and it was impossible for anyone to lend a helping hand to the drowning man as he was carried to his death in the breakers. Had the weather been clear and the schooner plainly visible from the life-saving station it would have been impossible for the life-savers to reach the scene in time to be of any assistance to the unfortunate seaman.
     On the other hand, the keeper without doubt discovered the Rawson at the first instant that she became visible at the station. No other eye sighted her, no one but the life-savers went to the rescue; the shipwrecked men lost their boat soon after the vessel struck, and not many hours elapsed after the rescue before the vessel broke up and disappeared. Hence all hands must have been lost, and the fate of the Sarah D.J. Rawson and her crew would never have known but for the unflinching heroism of the crew of the Cape Lookout Life-Saving Station, each of whom was subsequently awarded the gold medal of honor authorized by Congress (act of June 20, 1874) for extreme and heroic daring in saving life from the perils of the sea.

U.S. Coast Guard Award: 

William H. Gaskill
Kilby Guthrie
Walter M. Yeomans
Tyre Moore
John A. Guthrie
James W. Fulcher
John E. Kirkman
Calupt T. Jarvis
Joseph L. Lewis
Awarded 12 April 1905

The 387-ton, three-masted schooner Sarah D. J. Rawson, with a crew of seven, sailed from Georgetown, SC for New York with a full cargo of lumber on 2 February 1905. While standing under short canvas in a SSE gale at 5:30 PM on the 9th, the vessel stranded in the breakers on the south side of Lookout Shoals. She became a total loss. As soon as the schooner struck the master gave orders to take in sail. While the crew reformed this work, a heavy sea swept the decks and carried Jacob Hansen, a Norwegian seaman, into the surf. He soon disappeared.
The same sea struck the master and 3 other seamen. Only by the most desperate efforts, did they cling to the vessel. The schooner gradually worked onto the shoal and lay somewhat easier. The violent onslaughts of the sea, however, broke over her and soon carried away her boat. Then they swept the fore and aft deckhouses, her deck load of lumber and her spars. Powerless to do anything for the vessel, the crew sought refuge in the highest part of the wreck. Their situation appeared to be hopeless.
At Cape Lookout (NC) Life-Saving Station, about 9 miles N by W from the vessel, a vigilant lookout had been maintained during the day. A surfman remained constantly on watch while the keeper himself had twice visited the tower during the morning. A thick mantle of fog, however, covered the ocean and shut the doomed vessel from view. At noon, just as the lookout had been relieved, the keeper again climbed into the tower and at 12:05 PM, while scanning the sea with the glasses, he caught a glimpse of the schooner’s topmost spars. Knowing from her bearings that she probably was upon the shoal, he immediately called away the lifeboat. Every member of the crew promptly responded.
Though nearly all the men were ill, there having been an epidemic of influenza at the station, not one shrank from what all knew would be a long and wearisome pull in wintry weather over 18 miles of rough sea. A light WSW breeze made for a favorable wind and allowed the surfmen to make sail. With 8 men at the oars, they were off to the wreck within twenty-five minutes. At 4:00 PM they reached the scene of the disaster. The schooner lay upon her starboard side in the midst of the breakers. Her bowsprit, foremast, main topmast, and deckhouses were gone and her stern to mizzen rigging carried away. She was surrounded by wreckage and lumber. This pitching and beating flotsam threatened the safety of the lifeboat and the lives of its crew. Rawson’s six remaining crewmen could be seen by the surfmen. Though the latter repeatedly attempted to make their way through the mass of debris, they could get no closer than about 200 yards, when they would be beaten back. The master of the schooner stated that he expected to see the lifeboat pitched end over end in the turbulent sea. This would have occurred, but for the cool and skillful management of the keeper and crew.
Night soon came and the life-saving crew anchored near the edge of the breakers. They hoped, that in case of the schooner’s going to pieces, they still might be able to rescue some or all of the sailors. They maintained a vigilant lookout, frequently fending off fragments of wreckage that menaced their boat. After midnight, the wind increased in force and hauled to NW. With the weather still thick but much colder, the crew shifted the lifeboat to an anchorage about 500 yards to windward. The keeper stated that he did this so that should conditions worsen, they might be able to weather the shoal and put to sea. Throughout the long, tedious night the surfmen suffered greatly in their open boat from exposure, fatigue, and hunger. The keeper, however, maintained his post. He encouraged his crew and urged them not to fall asleep.
At dawn they returned to the wreck and found that, while her remaining masts had been swept away, a portion of the hull remained intact. This enabled the crew to survive the perils of the night. The sea was still running very high and the keeper decided to wait until the tide turned before attempting to rescue the crew. He had rightly judged that conditions would improve. About 1:00 AM the wind and sea moderated and the lifesavers pulled to a position about fifty yards to windward of the wreck. Here they anchored. By veering carefully upon the cable, and steadying the boat with the oars, they dropped in among the breakers and debris, as far as possible, and succeeded in throwing a heaving line on board the schooner. Then one of the seamen bent the line about his waist, jumped into the sea, and was hauled into the lifeboat. His companions followed his example, and, one by one, all hands were rescued--drenched, chilled, and nearly exhausted, but safe.
The surfmen removed their own oil coats and wrapped them about the shipwrecked men. They made the return trip to the station without mishap, arriving about 5:00 PM. The crew of the Rawson had been forty-eight hours without food or water. The lifesaving crew had spent twenty-eight hours in an open boat without food and their limbs cramped with cold. Lacking room to move about, their bodies ached from maintaining a sitting posture for so long. That the wrecked crew had not succumbed was due to the fact that the vessel lay nearly on her beam ends and afforded them something of a lee from the wintry NW wind.
The rescued men were furnished food and shelter at the station. Though there was clothing from the supplies of the Women’s National Relief Association, this stock became exhausted. The surfmen supplemented it from their own stores. The master of the Rawson was cared for part of the time by a personal friend at anchor in Lookout Bight. No member of the crew had suffered serious injury, though one seaman was afflicted by an attack of rheumatism and was transported upon a stretcher. On the 12th the revenue cutter Seminole arrived in Lookout Bight and the following day she took the crew of the Rawson on board and carried them to Wilmington, NC. The loss of one life at this disaster occurred a very short time after the vessel struck. It was impossible for anyone to lend a helping hand to the drowning man as he was carried to his death in the breakers.
The keeper discovered the Rawson at the first instant that she became visible at the station. No other eye sighted her, no one but the lifesavers went to the rescue. The shipwrecked men lost their boat soon after the vessel struck. Not many hours elapsed after the rescue before the vessel broke up and disappeared. All hands might have been lost. The fate of the Sarah D. J. Rawson and her crew would never have been known but for the unflinching heroism of the crew of the Cape Lookout Life-Saving Station. Each was subsequently awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for extreme and heroic daring in saving life from the perils of the sea. Those awarded for their rescue of the six crewman on Sarah D. J. Rawson included Keeper William H. Gaskill, Surfmen Kilby Guthrie, Walter M. Yeomans, Tyre Moore, John A. Guthrie, James W. Fulcher, John E. Kirkman, Calupt T. Jarvis, and former Surfman Joseph L. Lewis.