Thursday, April 19, 2012

Schooner Frances E. Waters ~ 23 October 1889

Life-Saving Station: Nags Head; Dist. #6

  • Date of Disaster - October 24, 1889
  • Name of Vessel - Francis E. Waters
  • Rig & Tonnage - Two mast sch. 141.20/100 tons
  • Hailing Port & Nationality - Baltimore, MD; USA
  • Age - 7 years
  • Official Number - 120072
  • Name of Master - Capt. L.S. Tall
  • Names of Owners - G.F. Seward & T.J. Seward
  • Where From - George Town, S.C.
  • Where bound - Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Number of crew, including Captain - 6
  • Nature of cargo - Lumber & shingles
  • Estimated value of vessel - Eight thousand dollars
  • Estimated value of cargo - Three thousand dollars
  • Exact spot where wrecked - 2 miles and 3/4 of a mile North of this station
  • Direction and distance from station - NNW 2-3/4 miles
  • Supposed cause of wreck (specifying particularly) - Gale wind anchored back of the reaf & rolled over
  • Nature of disaster, whether stranded, sunk, collision, etc. - Stranded in gale wind, come to the beach bottom up
  • Distance of vessel from shore at time of accident - not known
  • Time of day or night - I suppose between 9 p.m. and midnight October 23
  • State of wind and weather - Heavy gale wind and rain
  • State of tide and sea - high tide and rough sea
  • Time of discovery of wreck - About 6 a.m.
  • By whom discovered - A.B.L. Tillett from Kill Devil Hill station
  • Time of arrival of station crew at wreck - About 8:30 a.m.
  • Time of return of station crew from wreck - 11 a.m.
  • Was life-boat used? - No
  • Was surf-boat used? - No
  • Was life-raft used? - No
  • Was mortar, Lyle gun or rocket used? - No
  • Was heaving stick used? - No
  • Was life car used? - No
  • Was breeches-bouy used? - No
  • Was life-saving dress used, and how? - No
  • Number of lives lost, with names and residences - 6 lives lost, names and residence not known
  • State fully the circumstances of the loss of each life - Supposed all washed off the wreck and drowned
  • State damages, if any, to boat or apparatus - none
  • Was vessel saved or lost? - lost
  • Estimated value of cargo saved, and its condition - $1000, one thousand, fair condition
  • Estimated value of cargo lost - $2000
  • Amount of insurance on vessel - none
  • Amount of insurance on cargo - not known
  • Number of persons found after death and cared for - one
     Elisha Twine No. 5 surfman went north on Patrol from midnight to 3 a.m. met his man from Kill Devil Hills Station and returned.  Twine stated that he saw lots of sumthing [sic] drifting in the surf all the way on his beat but the night was so dark he could not tell but very little about what it was. Samuel T. Forbes No. 2 surfman went north on Patrol from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. he returned to the station about 7 a.m.  Forbes said the surf run over the beach so he did not get to the end of his beat and did not meet his man and did not see any wreck but saw lots of lumber and shingles.  As soon as Forbes returned to the station I sent T.T. Toler north on Patrol thinking there must be a wreck north of this station.  A few minutes after Toler left the station the Keeper of Kill Devil Hills Station cauld [sic] this station by telephone and reported a wreck on the north end of our beat bottom up and no one to be seen any where about the wreck.  Keeper and crew all but W.G. Tillett who had gone south on Patrol left the station about 7:30 a.m. with a Government horse and cart also tuck [took] the Medicine chest and bag of blankets and went for the wreck.  We met Toler coming back to report the wreck.  We all went on to the wreck and found her bottom up in the surf at the beach a totle [total] wreck.  All was gone.  We looked along the beach for drowned bodies was all we could do.  We found one man in the rigging that was hanging to one of the mast.  We tuck [sic] him to the station and made a box and Buried him.  Patrol was kept on the beach through the day expecting to find others but did not find any more.

Date of Report: October 30, 1889
/s/ V.B. Etheridge, Keeper

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