|The George W. Wells was the first six-masted schooner ever built and|
the largest sailing ship to wreck on the Outer Banks. The interior of her cargo
holds was compared to the interior of a cathedral.
SCHOONER GEORGE W. WELLS WRECKED BY STORM NEAR HATTERAS
Special to The Washington Post
Norfolk, Va., Sept. 4 -- Life-savers of Hatteras, Ocracoke, and Durants Neck stations established a new record for bravery when they rescued 20 men, 2 women, and 2 children from the six-masted schooner George W. Wells, which went ashore yesterday 3 miles north of Hatteras Inlet, during the terrific storm which swept the Virginia and North Carolina coast. The schooner, which was one of the largest afloat, is a total wreck.
The vessel was bound from New York to Fernandina light. When discovered by life-savers the men and women were clinging to the vessel's riggings.
The wind was blowing 70 miles an hour, and the rain fell in torrents. After several unsuccessful attempts the life-savers finally succeeded in reaching the schooner and all were taken off.
An unknown schooner, with only one mast standing and no signs of life on board, is ashore 3 miles north of Ocracoke. The revenue cutter Seminole has gone to her assistance. Two miles farther south an oil steamer flying the British flag is also ashore. Life-savers have been unable to learn her name, but are making strenuous efforts to reach her.
SCHOONER THAT WENT ASHORE HAS GONE TO PIECES --
LOSS OF LIFE SMALL
The Lowell Sun, Massachusetts
NORFOLK, Va., Sept. 5 -- With the telegraph wires still down it was impossible today to get detailed information of the havoc wrought by Wednesday's storm on the North Carolina coast between Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke on the lower coast. The six-masted schooner George W. Wells, which went ashore short of Hatteras, has gone to pieces.
The twenty men, two women and two infants rescued from the schooner are being temporarily cared for in the vicinity of the Ocracoke Inlet and Durant lifesaving stations.
The schooner reported ashore three miles north of Ocracoke turns out to be a four-master sighted in distress 12 miles off shore with her main top-mast and bowsprit gone. This vessel is believed to have been the schooner Annie R. Heidritter, heretofore reported drifting helplessly eight miles southwest of Diamond Shoals.
Unless the Ocracoke disaster is confirmed, the loss of life appears to have been very small.
CAPT. JOSEPH H. YORK
Information found at www.villagecraftsmen.com. Photos courtesy of Capt. York's great great grandson, Jean-Pierre Fortin
As the George W. Wells approached the shore, Capt. Joseph H. York ordered her anchors lowered, but the chains parted, and the Wells was driven onto the beach near the present day pony pen.