Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Steamer Veturia ~ 20 February 1918

The British steamer Veturia had loaded a cargo of nitrates in Colon, Panama and was bound for Hampton Roads, VA, but she never made the delivery. Lost in a dense early morning fog, the ship stranded upon the Outer Diamond Shoals on February 20, 1918. Her captain, Frank Mills, quickly realized his vessel was in dire trouble as it was aground in shoal water and being heavily pounded by mounting seas.
     A wireless broadcast from the stranded ship was received by the USCG Cutter Onodaga which was steaming nearby. But due to the dense fog, the cutter was not able to make contact with the Veturia until 13 hours later, at around ten o'clock that night. At that time, the cutter couldn’t get close to the Venturia as she was hard aground with breaking seas all about. So as not to meet the same fate as the stranded vessel, the rescue ship stood off in safe water over 200 yards away, lowered their boats and made several dangerous trips through the breaking seas to rescue all 47 crewmen and three cats.
     The crew was taken to safety in Wilmington, NC, but the Veturia remained on the Outer Diamond Shoals where the waves of the Atlantic beat her to pieces, the weight of her steel dragging the ship down into the pure white sands of the Diamond Shoals.

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