On the night of this date the British steamer Thistleroy, of 4,027 tons, en route from Tampa, FL, to Liverpool, England, via Norfolk, VA, with a cargo of cotton, mistook the Cape Lookout (N.C.) Light for the lightship on Cape Lookout Shoals, ran off her course, and stranded about 3 miles offshore and 4 or 5 miles south by east of the cape mentioned. Vessel and cargo, valued together at $310,000, became a total loss. The entire crew of 30 men and the single passenger—the master’s wife—aboard the vessel were saved, however, by the crew of the Cape Lookout Life-Saving Station, assisted by boats’ crews from the revenue cutter Itasca and the wrecking tug Rescue. This case is regarded, aside from the great property loss involved, as one of the noteworthy wrecks of the year, because of the fact that no lives were lost, notwithstanding the rescuers had to contend with unforeseen and disheartening difficulties and accidents in their work of saving the imperiled ship’s company.
Wilmington Morning Star
January 2, 1912
Beaufort, N.C., Jan. 1 - Efforts to save the British steamer THISTLEROY, aground on Lookout shoals have been unsuccessful, and the vessel will be a total loss. After a hard battle with a heavy sea, twelve members of the crew were picked up from a disabled motor life saving boat sent out from the Cape Lookout station, the revenue cutter ITASCA sending out a crew in an open life boat to rescue them.
Aide by the tug MERRITT, the steamer RESCUE and the power schooner PILGRIM, an attempt was made today to pull off the THISTLEROY. She was moved twice her length, but the heavy sea put an end to further efforts. When it became apparent the ship would have to be abandoned, the master's wife and remainder of the crew were taken from the ship by the ITASCA and brought to the cape station.
Master Ferguson has refused to leave the ship, and is aiding the wreckers in the effort to save 8,000 bales of cotton, shipped from Galveston for Liverpool. The THISTLEROY left Galveston December 21st.