Sunday, April 15, 2012

Barge N. Boynton ~ April 17, 1889

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889:

The north patrol of the Payner’s Hill Station (6th District) North Carolina, at 4 o’clock in the morning of the 17th, discovered a stranded vessel about three miles north-northwest of the station, and burned a Coston signal to apprise the unfortunate crew that help would soon arrive. He then hastened back with the alarm. The keeper telephoned to the adjacent station to the north—Whale’s Head—requesting the co-operation of the keeper and crew at that point, and with his surf men set out for the wreck, dragging the beach apparatus cart. When within half a mile of their destination, they were met by a surf man from Whale’s Head, with a horse, which was quickly hitched to the cart. When within half a mile of their destination they were met by a surfman from Whale’s Head, with a horse, which was quickly hitched to the cart. They got abreast of the wreck at quarter past 5 o’clock and found that the other life saving crew were on the spot and had made ready to begin operations as soon as the beach apparatus should arrive. It was the work of very few minutes to prepare the Lyle gun, and by a single trial the shot line was thrown on board. The vessel was about 175 yards from the beach, and though the surf was very rough, and she was rolling heavily, nothing interfered with the successful use of the breeches buoy. It was found necessary, however, as the tide was rising and the vessel working inshore, to set up the hawser twice during the operations. Four trips of the buoy landed the captain and his three men, and they were conducted to the Poyner’s Hill Station. Their craft was the barge N. Boynton, of Math, ME, from Providence, RI, bound in tow to Norfolk, VA. During the strong northeast blow with fog which prevailed throughout the night she had parted her hawser and stranded a short time before she was discovered by the patrol. Upon reaching the station the sailors, being wet and chilled, were provided with clothing for use while their own was drying. One of the men was sick, but after receiving prompt treatment with suitable remedies from the medicine chest he grew better, and on the 19th was able to go to Norfolk with two of his shipmates, the keeper having obtained free passage for them to that point. The captain, however, remained with the life savers 13 days, during which time the barge, which ultimately became a total loss, was stripped by a salvage company.

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