It was soon evident that the wreck was about to go to pieces, and the only thing the life savers could not hope to accomplish was to rescue the shipwrecked men from the surf when the last desperate moment should arrive. Even in this they were doomed to an extremely painful degree of disappointment. Seaman Van der Graaf says that first the deck house went by the board, then the hatch coamings and the decks, and then the bulwarks. While this destruction was going on the passenger, Cummings, in the mizzen shrouds, was caught by one leg in the ratlines and “slammed back and forth” until dead before the mast fell, which was the first to go, and went over the port side. He was never seen again.
Virginian Pilot, August 17, 1899
Virginia Pilot, August 20, 1899