Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bark Codorus ~ 4 August 1886

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1887:

At quarter to 3 o’clock in the afternoon the bark Codorus, of Baltimore, MD, bound thence from Rio Janeiro, Brazil with a valuable cargo of coffee, mis-stayed and stranded on the outer shoals off Cape Hatteras, NC, about 8 miles to the southward of the Cape Hatteras Station (6th District). There was a light southeast breeze at the time and the accident was, in great part, attributed to the strong set of the current. She had on board a crew of 12 men and one passenger. The station being closed at this season the keeper, as soon as possible, assembled a volunteer crew and put off to the vessel in the surf boat, reaching the scene near dark, but found it out of the question to go alongside on account of the heavy breakers on the shoals. As she appeared to be lying easy and in no immediate danger, the surfmen returned ashore to wait until daylight before attempting to board her. A strict watch was kept during the night and a fire built on the beach to guide the wrecked people to a safe landing in case they were obliged to abandon the craft before morning. Rockets were also set up to reassure them. Shortly after 6 o’clock (5th) the captain and three sailors managed to reach the shore in their own boat, to the south of the shoals, where they were met by the keeper and conducted to the station. As the assistance of wrecking tugs was desired, a message was at once sent to Hatteras village for transmission at that point over the Signal Service wires, but subsequent developments proved this step needless for when the surfmen went off again to the vessel, which they immediately did, she had broken in two and was fast going to pieces. Crews from the adjacent stations of Big Kinnakeet, to the north, Creeds Hill and Durants, to the westward, went to the wreck in their boats and joined in the work of rescuing the people, saving their effects, and conveying ashore provisions and cargo. The castaways were sheltered at the Cape Hatteras Station, all of them remaining a week, and the captain 6 days longer. Some 60 odd sacks of coffee were stored, which the keeper afterwards delivered on board a schooner authorized to receive them. The bark became a total loss.

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