Sunday, February 12, 2012

Schooner Mary S. Eskridge ~ 31 December 1911

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1912:

About noon the three-masted schooner Mary S. Eskridge, of Seaford, DE, from Baltimore, MD, to Wilmington, NC, with a cargo of acid fertilizer, anchored 1-3/4 miles southeast of the Big Kinnakeet (NC) Life Saving Station and a mile offshore in a waterlogged condition and hoisted a signal for assistance. The signal was observed from the Big Kinnakeet station and also from the Cape Hatteras station, 7 miles to the southward from the vessel. The crews of the two stations named and of the Little Kinnakeet station assembled as quickly as possible on the beach abreast of the schooner, and a boat’s crew in command of the station keeper from Cape Hatteras put off to her in a surfboat under oars. After a hard struggle through heavy seas and against a strong current they arrived alongside and found her in a sinking condition. As the weather was bad and rapidly growing worse, and there was a likelihood that she would go down at any moment, no time was lost in getting her crew of 6 into the surfboat. The rescued persons were taken to the Big Kinnakeet station, where they were given succor until January 5. The schooner being still afloat on the morning of January 1, the life saving crew carried her master out to ascertain her condition. They manner her pumps while aboard, but found them choked with fertilizer. On the morning of January 3, she sank in 5 fathoms. Both vessel and cargo valued at $35,000, were totally lost.

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