Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Schooner William H. Hopkins ~ 21 Jun 1891

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1891:

BIG KINNAKEET LIFE-SAVING STATION, June 24, 1891

To whom it may concern: On Saturday evening, June 20, 1891, the schooner William H. Hopkins, while bound from New York to Mayport, FL, and when beating along the coast off Hatteras Shoals, sprang a leak, and the efforts of her crew, to keep her afloat proving ineffectual, she sank in 6 fathoms of water near this station about 4 a.m., June 22, and the master and crew, fearing to try to pass through the breakers in their yawl, boarded another vessel that soon came up, and as soon as it was light enough set a signal for the Big Kinnakeet life saving crew. A long delay was expected in answering the signal on account of the crew being off duty, but to our surprise we immediately saw preparations being made to come to our assistance, and in about 20 minutes they were alongside of the wreck of the Hopkins. They then came to the schooner we had boarded, landed us safely, and conveyed us immediately to the station, treating us all the time with the greatest care, kindness, courtesy, and consideration.
     After treating us to a good, warm breakfast, Capt. Gray, of this station, offered his services for anything further concerning the wreck I desired; but thinking that nothing
further could be done immediately, I could but thank him for his offer. Monday morning, June 22, Capt. Gray again offered his services; but he having done so much already, and seeing that plenty of other assistance could be had, I thought it best to tax the generosity of the service no further. I then proceeded to call in the advice of the commissioner of wrecks, D.G. Midgett. A survey was then called, and the schooner was of course pronounced a total loss. Yet, hoping to save some of the rigging and sails, Z.T. Scarborough was appointed wreck master, and up to this date, June 23, 2 p.m., nearly all the material within reach has been landed on the beach.
     I can not too highly commend Capt. Gray and his noble crew for their promptness in our case, and I should not have dared to land in our own boat, but would have had to sail away from the vicinity of the wreck and sacrifice all that has thus far been saved. Capt. Gray also has my gratitude and thanks for needed advice outside of his official position. GIDEON J. FISHER, Master of Schooner William H. Hopkins

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