Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Schooner Nellie Crowell ~ 4 April 1881

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1881:

The schooner Nellie Crowell, of Hartford, CT, bound from Baltimore to Wilmington, NC, with a cargo of guano and a crew of 8 men, stranded 7 miles south of Hatteras Inlet, 12 miles from Station No. 23 (6th District), North Carolina, about 200 yards from shore. The disaster occurred at half-past two o’clock in the morning, but was not discovered until 5:30 p.m., when the schooner was perceived by the lookout on the station deck. The crew were immediately mustered, and started for the wreck with the beach apparatus. They hauled it two miles down the beach, to a point from which they intended to cross the inlet, but on arriving could get no boat to convey them on account of the heavy gale which was blowing from the northwest. This obliged them to return to the station and attempt the passage with the surf boat. They left the station the second time at 7 p.m., and after a hard and tedious pull against heavy wind and sea, succeeded in reaching the wreck at midnight. They found the crew had been taken ashore by a party of oystermen at noon, and that they had been unable to save any of their clothing. The lifesaving crew assisted the shipwrecked men to construct a camp, and then at the request of the captain of the schooner took him to Hatteras to arrange with a wrecking company for getting his vessel off. On the morning of the 5th, the life saving crew visited the wreck and obtained the clothing of the crew, after which they returned to the station, arriving at 1 p.m. On the evening of April 6, four of the wrecked crew sought shelter at the station, and four more the following day; four of the eight remained one day and night, and the other four were cared for five days. The vessel proved a total loss.

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