Thursday, January 5, 2012

Schooner Thomas Sinnickson ~ 12 October 1885

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1886:

At 1 o’clock in the afternoon, during the prevalence of an easterly gale with stormy weather, the lookout of the Ocracoke Station (6th District) North Carolina, observed a distress signal on a schooner at anchor inside the bar at Hatteras Inlet, about two and a half miles east-northeast of the station. The life saving crew abandoned the attempt to reach her in the surfboat on account of the heavy head wind and sea, and manned the apparatus cart and started with all haste up the beach. This task proved to be an exceedingly difficult and toilsome one, as the men had to haul their gear, at times knee deep through the incoming surf. The vessel could be seen dragging her anchors and pounding on the shoals; in this extremity her chains were slipped and she went ashore on the south side of the bar, and bilged, about 75 yards from the beach. The station crew, on reaching the scene of the disaster, waded out to their hips in the breakers to within 25 yards of the wreck, and threw a small line on board by means of the heaving stick, after which the whip was bent on, and the crew of the schooner hauled it off and made it fast. The hawser was then sent out the communication established by means of the breeches buoy. All hands, consisting of 7 men, were safely landed in the buoy, and conducted to the station, where they were comfortably cared for. The schooner was the Thomas Sinnickson, of and for Philadelphia, PA, from Wilmington, NC, laden with railroad iron, shingles, and tar. She soon went to pieces and became a total loss. The day following the disaster the surfmen saved the clothing and personal effects of the castaways, and, after being sheltered at the station for three days, the keeper obtained passage for them on a schooner bound to the northern port. They were grateful to the life saving men for their rescue and the kind attentions shown them.

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