Thursday, March 15, 2012

Steamer James Woodall ~ 12 January 1896

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1896:

Stranded in hazy weather, about 8 p.m., on New Inlet outer bar. Patrolman burned his Coston signal, which was answered by the vessel’s whistle, and promptly informed the station. Keeper notified the Pea Island and Chicamicomico stations, requesting the latter to send crew and mules to his aid. The New Inlet crew proceeded to the scene with their beach apparatus, but vessel was found to be out of range of the Lyle gun. They returned to the station for the lifeboat, and then the keepers sent up two rockets to reassure the shipwrecked men and hurry the other life saving crew. Having started with their boat they were met by the Chicamicomico crew and mules and together proceeded to a point abreast the vessel. Here another rocket was displayed, and at low water, about 10 p.m., in a heavy surf and very dark night, the lifeboat was launched, her own crew being strengthened by two of the Chicamicomico crew. Found the vessel lying broadside to the sea, rolling deeply and with the breakers sweeping her for and aft, requiring the whole strength and most skillful efforts of the crew to prevent their boat from being dashed to pieces against her. After a hard struggle got the entire crew of 10 into the lifeboat and landed them safely. The Pea Island crew were now on the beach and assisted to get lifeboat and beach apparatus to the station. On the following day brought ashore the personal effects of the shipwrecked crew. Sheltered and fed the distressed seamen for 5 days, and the mate one day longer. A small portion of perishable cargo was saved and disposed of by the captain on the beach, the keeper notifying the residents near by of the sale. The vessel proved a loss. (See letter of acknowledgement.)


DEAR SIR: I take this opportunity—and it is with pleasure I do so—to express through you the gratitude and very high appreciation which I and my shipwrecked crew of the steamer James Woodall have for Captain J.H. Westcott and his brave crew of the New Inlet Life-Saving Station, assisted by the crews of the Chicamicomico and Pea Island stations, for the skill and daring which they displayed on Sunday night, the 12th instant, in rescuing us with their lifeboat from a watery grave, at the peril of their own lives, on a dark night, through heavy breakers and seas, which swept all over my steamer. Their kind and humane treatment of us while with them bespeaks for them and the Service which they represent the loudest praise and commendation. Very truly, yours, C. H. LANGE, Master Steamer James Woodall ; W.L. MESSICK, Mate ; ARCHIE KING, Chief Engineer ; ERNEST E. LANGWORTH, Assistant Engineer

Newspaper Article:
New York Times, January 14, 1896

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