Sunday, April 22, 2012

Schooner Charles ~ 5 October 1881

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Services for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882:

At 11 a.m., during the prevalence of a heavy gale from the north-northeast, the weather being squally and thick, the lookout at Station No. 20 (6th District), Little Kinnakeet, North Carolina, sighted a small schooner under close-reefer foresail and jib scudding down the coast before the wind. When nearly abreast of the station she was observed to haul in towards the land, as though it was intended to beach her. The life saving crew at once started out with their apparatus to her assistance.
     When near the surf another schooner was seen coming from the northward and also apparently edging in towards the beach. The first schooner, which proved to be the Charles, 33 tons register, of Beaufort, North Carolina, struck about a mile south of the station soon after the life saving crew got out. She went head on with the seas sweeping her deck from one end to the other, and did not fetch up until most high and dry. The surfmen pushed forward with all the haste possible, and in a few minutes were abreast of the vessel. She was so well up that one of the surfmen waded out with the whip line until he was waist deep in the surf, and then grasping the gear of the martingale managed to climb on board and make the tail block fast to the foremast, for the purpose of aiding the landing of her crew.
     Three persons were on board—two men and a boy. They refused to leave the vessel until their effects could be gathered together, the captain descending to the cabin and locking himself in. There was no time for parleying, as the other schooner was fast nearing the breakers and the life saving crew must proceed to her as quickly as possible. The captain was therefore informed that if he desired the assistance of the station crew it must be accepted at once. This brought him to reason, and he and his crew were soon transferred to the shore and conducted to the station.
     The Charles was from Broad Creek, Neuse River, North Carolina, bound to Baltimore, MD with a cargo of lumber. The captain reported encountering the first of the gale the night previous when to the northward, abreast of Currituck Beach light, and that he had lost his yawl and most of the deck load, besides springing the fore-gaff. By the time the latter was repaired so as to carry sail on it the storm had increased to such severity that he was compelled to run before it and ultimately to beach the vessel to save himself and crew. The hull of the schooner being uninjured the captain subsequently contracted with a party to haul her across the beach and launch her in Pamlico Sound, and thus saved his vessel, he and his crew receiving shelter at the station while the work was going on.

NOTE: See also the McColly, rescued immediately after the Charles.

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