Thursday, January 5, 2012

Barge Thomas A. Goddard ~ 9 December 1905

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1906:

During a NE. gale prevailing on this date a telephone message reached the keeper apprising him of the fact that a steamer had stranded near Kitty Hawk station and that a barge she had been towing had been cast adrift offshore to prevent it going on the beach. At about the same time the N. and S. patrols reported at the station at Nags Head that they had signed the barge drifting toward the shore, where it appears that she soon brought up. After notifying Kill Devil Hills crew to come down and lend a hand in the work the beach apparatus was quickly transported down the beach by horses and set up abreast of the barge, which having brought up on her anchors was drifting about in the gale and breakers. Owing to the wreck not remaining stationary, it was with the greatest difficulty that a shot was sent over her. On the first two attempts the shot line parted, but at the third the line fell on board and was hauled off by the sailors. The barge now swung completely around, fouling the whip line, her cables parted, and she struck the beach with terrific force, the heavy sea making a clean breech over her. There was no time to be lost. The whip was soon cleared, however, the hawser run off and secured, and the entire crew of 5 men brought safely to shore in the breeches buoy. The destitute men were taken to the station and succored for four days, also dry clothing being furnished them from the stores of the Women’s National Relief Association. The master remained at the station until the 18th, hoping to save his vessel, but she continued to break up and soon became a mere hulk.

Life-Saving Station: Nags Head; Dist. #7

Date of Disaster - December 9th 1905, 1889
Name of Vessel - Thomas A. GoddardRig and Tonnage - 3 masted Sch. Barge 617 tons net
Hailing Port and Nationality - New York
Age - 31 years
Official Number - 118
Name of Master - William D. Todd
Names of Owners - W.A. Taft
Where From - Norfolk, Virginia
Where bound - Georgetown, S.C.
Number of crew, including Captain - Five
Number of passengers: None
Nature of cargo - light
Estimated value of vessel - $10,000 statement by captain
Exact spot where wrecked - Two miles NNW of Nags Head L.S. Station
Direction and distance from station - NNW 2 miles
Supposed cause of wreck (specifying particularly) - Parting of anchor chains
Nature of disaster, whether stranded, sunk, collision, etc. - Stranded
Distance of vessel from shore at time of accident - 9 miles, stated by capt.
Time of day or night - About 1:45 p.m. when vesel crossed outer bar
State of wind and weather - Gale NE wind, thick misty
State of tide and sea - High tide and High surf
Time of discovery of wreck - 1:15 p.m.
By whom discovered - Clinton H. Barnett, substitute
Time of arrival of station crew at wreck - About 2 p.m.
Time of return of station crew from wreck - About 4 p.m.
Was life-boat used? - No
Was surf-boat used? - No
Was life-raft used? - No
Was mortar, Lyle gun or rocket used? - Lyle Gun
Charge of powder used - Two 4-ounce and 1 6-ounce
Size of shot-line used: #7 and #9
Distance of wreck from shore when shot was fired - 200 or 250 yds or there about
Number of shots fired -Three
If any shots were unsuccessful, state cause of failure: First two shots with 4- ounce powder and number 4 laid line parted each shot crossed over vessel
Was whip-line sent on board double or single?  Double
If anything occurred to interfere with favorable operations, state fully the nature and cause - Drifting of vessel along the beach the vessel was draged by chains and the strong current kept her moving so we had to move the sand anchor four times to set up Hawser
Was heaving stick used? - No
Was life car used? - No
Was breeches-bouy used?  Yes
Number of trips of breeches-bouy: Five
Number of persons bought ashore with breeches-bouy - Five
Was life-saving dress used, and how? - No
Number of lives saved, with names and residences - William D. Todd, Camden, NC; J. Frank Maker, Camden, NC; Robert Hazel, Georgetown, SC; Richard Evens, Georgetown, SC; Martin Read, Georgetown, SC
Number of lives lost, with names and residence - None
State damages, if any, to boat or apparatus - 2 shot lost and 153 yds #7 line
Was vessel saved or lost? - Total loss
Estimated value of cargo saved, and its condition - $1000, one thousand, fair condition
Amount of insurance on vessel - Don't know
Number of persons sheltered at station, and how long - mate and 3 sailors 4 days; captain at station 9 days
Remarks: Received a message by telephone Dec. 9th _____ from Kitty Hawk Station saying that a steamer was ashore near that Station and a barge had been cast adrift by steamer off shore and to be on the look out for her which we did.  At 1 p.m. Clinton H. Barnett substitute and C.S. Etheridge left the station to go on Patrol.  Barnett north and Etheridge south.  Barnett soon sited a vessel drifting for the beach.  He returned to the station and reported that same.  Keeper reported the same by telephone to Kill Devil Hills Station asking them to come.  Keeper and crew of six surfmen and one substitute of Nags Head Station left station about ? p.m. with Beach apparatus using Government team.  Station crew moved a brest of wreck about 2 p.m. and was joined by six surfmen from Kill Devil Hills Station and a party of fishermen.  The Lyle gun was moved in position and a charge of four ounces of powder with a #4 laid shot line was fired the line parted and the shot passed over the vessel.  The vessel was draged by chains and would not come near enough to ground and kept moving up the gully so we had to move position of gun and another 4 ounce charge with #4 laid line was fired the line parted same as the first and shot passed over vessel.  We had to move up the beach to get a brest of the vessel.  The Lyle gun was placed in position tired time and a charge of 6 ounces powder with #7 laid line was fired the line was bent to the #9 and #9 bent onto the whip and was soon hauld off to the wreck and the tail block made fast to the mizzen mast well up and at that time the vessel grounded aft and turned round causing the whip to have a turn over the mizzen boom top life so we could not send the hawser off until the whip was chaiged which was soon done and the hawser was sent off and set up and five men was soon landed in the breeches bouy, and station crew and sailors all went to the station.  Dry clothing was given to the sailors from the lox furnished by the womens releaf association.
Date of Report: December 19th, 1905
     /s/ V.B. Etheridge, Keeper

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