Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Schooner Viola W. Burton ~ 27 May 1889

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1889:

At four o’clock in the morning a vessel ashore about one and a half miles south-southeast of the Big Kinnakeet Station (6th District), North Carolina, was discovered by the wife of the keeper of that station. The life saving crew were not on duty at the time, this being the inactive season, but the keeper upon learning of the accident at once hoisted the signal for the men and also started out on horseback to notify them. About an hour later, the crew having reported, the surfboat was manned and pulled to the place. The schooner was the Viola W. Burton, of and from Philadelphia, bound to New Berne, NC, with a freight of coal, and had stranded so close to the shore that the men could land without a boat. The surf men led out a line from the craft and the crew sliding down the rope were helped to the beach. Their effects were next sent ashore by the keeper, who had gone on board, after which all proceeded to the station. The 5 men from the vessel were wet, and while theirs were drying, other clothes were provided for their use. He keeper and the schooner’s crew subsequently made several trips to her, but could do little in saving anything further. A telegram had been sent to Norfolk at the time of the rescue for a steamer, but upon her arrival it was found that the schooner was past help. The shipwrecked crew accordingly made preparations to go on board the steamer for transportation to Norfolk. A storm, however, which continued several days prevented their embarking until the 4th of June, at which time they left the station. The schooner and cargo became a total loss.

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