Sunday, April 22, 2012

Steamer City of Jacksonville ~ 19 September 1899

City of Jacksonville
On September 19, 1899, the side-wheel steamer City of Jacksonville, under the command of Captain Thoms Cresner with a crew of 16, stranded 6 miles SSW of the station. The keeper's report follows and is transcribed as found:

Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1899:

"At 5:40 a.m. Dennis Mason reported to keeper that a steamer to the southerd of station was acting as if something was the mater with her. Keeper went in lookout and spied a few minutes, she hauled off shore turned and run down the beach. Kep watch of her at 6:20 a.m. she hauled into beach and stopped. We left station at 6:35 a.m. with beach apparatus. The beach all under water, had to cross eight small Inlets most of the time water over our knees, arived abrest of vessel 9:55 a.m. She proved to be the City of Jacksonville from N.Y. bound to Jacksonville, Fla. At 2 a.m. the rudder chain parted, Capt had it fixed. At day light she run in shore to look for an Inlet, when a mile from beach rudder chain parted again, wind fresh from the S.E. sea rough, she came to the beach over the outer and inner reefs. Keeper boarded vessel wanted Capt and crew to leave but they would not. Got men to carrie dispatches to Beaufort, N.C. for Capt. Brought letters to Portsmouth and mailed them. Steamer being right close to Old Whale Bone Inlet could go to her from the inside with surfboat. Keeper found the vessel would shift about on high water and her main steam pipes out of plumb. Concluded to stay by her with surf boat which we did for three nights. Sept. 22nd Backed first anchor with another, brought pilot to Portsmouth in surfboat, got parties to carrie him to Morehead City, carried provisions to vessel at different times."

Keeper Terrell and his crew stood by the Jacksonville until a wrecking company arrived to take charge. He didn't finish his report until November 9, concluding that the vessel " not on the sound side. Wreckers at work on her. Think she will be saved."

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