Sunday, February 12, 2012

Schooner Melrose ~ 15 February 1908

On February 15, 1908, the three-masted schooner Melrose (693 tons) came ashore at the Pilintaries, 10 miles northeast of the station on high tide and during a fresh SSW wind. The vessel had a cargo of salt valued at $1,100.00 from the Turk Islands bound for New York City under the command of Captain M.J. Morstone with a crew of three Americans and four Portuguese. Keeper W.T. Willis filed the following report on February 20, 1908:

"At 10 a.m. Willis who lives 8 miles N.E. of station reported to me that this vessel was on the beach. We left station at 10:30 a.m. arrived at wreck 12:10 noon. Keeper of Portsmouth Station was at the sene when we arrived and had fired one unsuccessful shot - after seeing the Portsmouth crew we droped our gear about one mile south of wreck and hurried to his assistance. After gear was set up one man from my crew was sent on board to carry on the operation of landing. The men were all taken to station ecept the master who was sheltered at the Club house (Pilentary) which was near the sene. Men were all furnished dry clothes which they had to keep. At 8:30 16th launched surf boat and went to schr. landed mens persional effects. This was don at two drips. 17th at 7 a.m. Rev Cutter Seminole arrived we transferred all the men with master on board of cutter. The latter took them to Beaufort, N.C. Vessel is being striped by salviors."

The Melrose, along with her cargo, became a complete loss. Was it because of negligence as Keeper Willis believed, or was it because the "Chronometer was out of way," as claimed by the captain.

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