Sunday, February 12, 2012

Schooner Maurice R. Thurlow / 13 October 1827

During a storm on October 13 the Maurice R. Thurlow grounded on Diamond Shoals about 10 miles NE of the Ocracoke Island Station. The crew from the Cape Hatteras Station answered the distress signal and saved the crew of 9. The next morning the Thurlow had vanished. Usually when a vessel washes off Diamond Shoals they find a resting place on the Ocracoke Beach. The Coast Guard Cutter Mascoutin from Norfolk searched for the vessel but to no avail. Almost two weeks later a Dutch oil tanker sighted the Thurlow in the North Atlantic. The Coast Guard renewed it's search, but again failed to locate the vessel, which had become known as The Phantom Ship.


The Evening Independent
St. Petersburg, Florida ~ Friday, October 28, 1927

OCEAN DERELICT SAILS ATLANTIC
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LUMBER SCHOONER, THOUGHT LOST SIGHTED
UNDER FULL SAIL, CREWLESS
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Washington, Oct. 28.—(UP)—Crewless and with her sails bellied full, a derelict schooner is playing hide and seek with trans-Atlantic shipping and a full fleet of pursuing coast guard cutters.
     The “Flying Dutchman” of the North Atlantic, the abandoned Maurice Thurlow, with a valuable lumber cargo aboard, has eluded searchers since she went on the Diamond shoals off the (Virginia) coast and then slipped away 10 days ago.
     Yesterday the steamer Slidrecht wirelessed coast guard headquarters that it passed the phantom ship about 100 miles east of Nautucket, fully 600 miles from where it was lost.
     It was sailing along serenely “without a helmsman at the wheel or any sign of life aboard,” the Slidrecht reported. “The sails were full and the schooner was pushing steadily north by east.”
     The Maurice Thurlow is a four master schooner of about 1,200 tons. During the recent Atlantic coast storms she was abandoned by her crew off Diamond shoals. The crew was picked up by a coast guard cutter, which was later forced to the open seas by the storm. Returning 10 hours later the cutter found the schooner gone and the beach strewn with wreckage. It was thought the schooner had been bettered to pieces until it was reported sailing to the northward.

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