Saturday, February 11, 2012

Steamer Northeastern ~ 17 December 1904

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1905:

At 11 p.m., during a strong SSW. Wind, with a very high sea and thick fog, the Northeastern, a freight steamer of 2,206 tons, carrying 22 men, struck upon the outer point of Diamond Shoals, about 9 miles from either station, ultimately breaking up and becoming a total loss. Her signals of distress were observed at both stations at about 4 a.m., and rockets were sent up in response, while the keepers held consultation by telephone. Owing to the dangerous surf it was impossible to launch a boat to go to the rescue and, in fact, the weather was so thick that it was not possible for the lifesavers to know that a vessel was upon the shoals. The weather continued thick until the morning of the 28th, when the wreck could be sighted. Keeper Etheridge, of Cape Hatteras station, then called away the surfboat, and the crew endeavored to launch, but at each attempt the boat was hurled back upon the beach by the resistless breakers. On the night of the 28th lights were seen upon the steamer, and were answered at the stations by more rockets. At 4.30 the morning of the 29th the wind had shifted to NW. and the surfboats of both stations were taken to Hatteras Cover, where the crews launched them and put out to the wreck. During the transportation and launching of their boat the Creeds Hill crew were assisted by surfmen from Big Kinnakeet station. The lifesavers reached the scene of the wreck at 9 a.m. They found the vessel lying in the midst of dangerous breakers and submerged, with the exception of a portion of the stern, upon which the crew had gathered. It was decided that one surfboat should approach the wreck at a time, the other standing by in case of accident, and the Cape Hatteras boat first entered he breakers, and by means of lines rescued 10 men; after which the Creeds Hill boat pulled in and saved the remainder, 12 men. The trip to shore was successfully accomplished, and the rescued men were succored at the stations three days, being provided with clothing from the Women’s National Relief Association stores. (See letter of acknowledgment.)


DEAR SIR: The steamship Northeaster, from Port Arthur, Texas, bound to Philadelphia, on the night of December 27, got upon Diamond Shoals, and was in a very perilous position, in a southerly gale. We had to stay on the wreck thirty-five hours, at the same time burning torches and receiving answers from the Creeds Hill and Cape Hatteras life-saving stations. The sea was running very high and it was impossible for anyone to launch a lifeboat. At the first chance the captains of Creeds Hill and Hatteras life-saving stations launched their boats and came to our rescue, for this we were very glad, as the ship was broken in two and in a sinking condition. We were landed safely by Captain E.H. Peel and Captain P.H. Etheridge, and we, the crew of the steamship Northeaster, think they ran a great risk in doing so. The kindness they showed us at the life-saving station after landing we shall never forget, as all our clothing was lost. We, the undersigned, can not speak too highly of the danger they put themselves to in saving us, for in twelve hours more we should all have been lost. We had no boats to save ourselves; they all got stove in launching them.
     Thanking Captains E.H. Peel and P.H. Etheridge and their crews for their kind hospitality, we remain, Yours, respectfully, W.J. LYNCH, Master Steamer Northeastern ; CHAS. R. MALCOLM, Chief Engineer ; C.H. BLAISDELL, First Assistant Engineer ; FRANK LIND, Second Assistant Engineer ; HENRY T. DANIELS, Third Assistant Engineer ; PAUL R.F. OVERBECK, Second Mate ; J. WATKINS, Steward ; ALFRED BOYD, Oiler ; FRANK JOHNSON, Quartermaster ; FRANK O. CARLSON, Quartermaster ; O.F. JANSON, Seaman ; LOUIS SIERVER, Messman

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