Friday, January 6, 2012

Schooner Sylvia C. Hall ~ 17 March 1915

The first instance of a ship loss in North Carolina within the domain of the new Coast Guard was the wreck of the 384-ton schooner Sylvia C. Hall on Lookout Shoals, March 17, 1915. Loaded with lumber, the Hall was bound from Jacksonville to New York with a crew of five. Buffeted by a strong gale during the night she struck the shoals just before dawn and was sighted from the Cape Lookout station soon after.
     Keeper F.G. Gillikin launched his powerboat at 6:45 a.m. and ran into exceptionally rough seas en route to the Hall. Upon arriving at the vessel he couldn't get close enough to make a rescue. While waiting for the tide to change and the wind to moderate the powerboat was struck by a huge wave, completely burying the small craft and seriously injuring one of the crew.
     Gillikin decided to return to shore for a self-bailing surfboat, in which he could stand a better chance of getting alongside. He didn't reach shore until late that afternoon which delayed a second rescue attempt until early the next morning. The surfboat was towed to the scene with the powerboat and maneuvered in close enough to rescue the 5 men who had taken to the the jib boom.

CAPE LOOKOUT, March 20, 1915

Dear Sir: I wish to sincerely thank you and your sturdy crew for the valuable services which you rendered me and my crew of the Schooner Sylvia C. Hall which stranded on the shoals March 17, 1915, also for the treatment shown me while at your station. You deserve great praise and I shall not fail to do my part in making it know. Yours, very truly, C.W. Sprague, Master

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