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About The morning Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1899-1930 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 23, 1904)
THE MORNING ASTOKIAN, TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 1DW.
LUMBER SCHOONER LOST
AND TWO SEAMEN RILLED
Terrible Disaster Overtakes the Frank W.
Howe, Bound From Ballard for San
Pedro, With Railroad Ties.
Hapless Vessel Is Buffeted About by the Terrific Gale and Finally Is
' Run Ashore at Long Beach, Where the Waves Are MaK-
ing Short Work of HerCook Torn to Pieces x '
at the Wheel on Thursday.
The schooner Frank W.Howe,
of 482 tons net register, was lost
on North beach, Wash, yester
day morning. She was bound
from Ballard, Wash, for. San
Pedro with a cargo of railroad
During the prevalence of the
galea encountered by the vessel
two of her men were killed.
One of the men, whose first or
last name was Herman, fell
from the rigging to the deck,
was injured and washed over
board to his death. The other,
Dan S uter, cook, was killed at
the wheel. A monster tea which
struck the rudder caused the
wheel to spin suddenly around
and the spokes literally tore him
to pieces.. A wave which swept
the vessel carried his body into
Captain Keegan and six mem
bers of the crew were saved.
The eastern built schooner Frank
W. Howe came to her finish on bleak
North beach yesterday morning;. Aft
ter having been battered about by the
terrific gales which hare swept the
North Pacific coast for the pas three
or four days, she was run ashore yes
terday near Seavlew, Wash., about two
miles north of the spot where the Co
lumbia river UghtBhlp went ashore.
That the vessel will be a total loss Is
certain for when a party of Astorlans
left the scene dl the scene of the dis
herit the scene of the disaster yesterday
the schooner was going to pieces.
When Captain A. Keegan, of the hap
less schooner was approached by a rep
resentative of The Astorian at Long
beach yesterday he told of a terrible
experience at sea. His little vessel had
been buffeted about until her seams
were open, and every effort on his
part to reach a place of refuge proved
futile. Fate seemed to be against her,
and he was compelled to -pile her up
on the beach in a final effort to save
the lives of the seven persons who re
mained of the crew of nine. She is
lying stern in to the beach and the
waves are grinding her to pieces In
their great fury.
About 9 o'clock yesterday morning '
the North Head lookout discerned the
schooner In the distance. She was
evidently helpless at the time, and men
were to be seen In the rigging. She
drifted slowly in toward shore, flying
distress signals which read, "We Deed
assistance." The news soon spread
among the residents on the betch and
as the schooner came on In the great
breakers scores of people lined the
beach to render such assistance as
laid In their power.
The excellent service of the govern
ment to the maritime Interests of the
world was never better demonstrated
than yesterday morning. As soon as
the North Head lookout discovered the
vessel on the horlxon he placed hlm-
crewa In their efforts to rescue the
Howe's men. The Hammond crew, led
by Captain Wlcklund. reached the
beach Just In time to see the ship
wrecked mariners come ashore In the
Ihvaco (Long Beach) life boat.
Efforts at Rescue.
hen the schooner drifted In on
the breakers the Fort Canby crew made
preparations to have their breeches-
buoy apparatus in readiness. The
schooner struck and the crew fired its
gun The line shot out toward the
schooner, but fell short. Again the
effort to shoot the line over the rigging
was made, .but again It fell short.
Then the brave life savers waded into
the surf with their apparatus and tried
repeatedly to get the line to the ves
sel, but the distance was too great
Meantime the Uwaco crew was
striving with might and main and the
ptuck which life savers alone posseita
to battle their way through the break
era to the vessel Several times their
boat was started out. but each time
it was found impossible to reach the
schooner, the currents carrying the life
boat out of range. Finally, however.
I the life boat was sent out from a point
that enabled the life savers to work
her to, the schooner, and the crew
managed to creep along the side of
the wrecked vessel As the life boat
self in communication with the llfs- drlfted by the men on th, Khoowr
savmg crews at Long ueacn, Fort Can- dropped one at a tJme Jnt0 th bottom
oy, Mammona ana roint Aaama The
news was likewise telegraphed to As
toria and preparations were made to
help the unfortunates on the ill-fated
schooner. The revenue cutter Perry
and the bar tugs started at once for
the scene W the disaster, while the
Hammond life crew Immediately set
sail for the Washington shore. It was
the intention of the Perry to take over
the Point Adams life crew, but the
bar was breaking with such fury that
a glance convinced Captain Dunwoodie,
as well as Captain Bailey, of the Ta
toosh, and Captain Reed, of the Wal
lula, that no vessel could live in the
roaring breakers. This condition cut
off assistance by water, but the Ore
gon life . crew from Hammand
proceeded at once to Uwaco and hast
ened then to the beach, hoping they
might reach the scene In time to join
with the Fort Stevens and Long Beach
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of the life boat, and by the time the
length of the schooner had been react
ed all of the seven men had been saved
in the government boat, the crew of
which then ulled rapidly ashore.
Captain Keegan was more or less
bruised, R. J. T. Richie, the first
mate, suffered a badly sprained ankle,
while George Moss, the second mate,
was slightly hurt. The four seamen
who came ashore were likewise slight
Battle With the Elements.
Captain Keegan's story of the events
leading up to the loss of his ship is
an interesting narrative. The Howe
left Ballard on the 12th Inst., with a
full cargo of railroad ties for San
Pedro. 1 Almost Immediately after get
ting out of the straits of Fuca she
encountered heavy weather, and mon
ster waves which swept her carried
away her deck load. The vessel labor
ed heavily In the gale and was badly
strained. The opening of the seams
partly filled her with water and she
became more and more unmanaye-
Fate had, marked the schooner and,
although Captain Keegan made every
effort to run back to Port Townsend,
he found it Impossible to do so. Then
he endeavored to run for the Colum
bia, but never reached the river's
The water which came over the ves
sel ruined all the provisions aboard,
besides carrying away the deck load,
and the men aboard were almost with
out food since last Thursday. From
that day until yesterday noon they
eked out an existance on-cod fish.
Their clothing was soaked with water
and they endured the most terrible
suffering from the cold.
Desth of the Two Men.
The death of the two men occurred
on Thursday under the most distress
ing circumstances.' The first to be
killed was the man named Herman.
Whether his given name or surname
was Herman neither Captain Keegan
nor members of the vessel's crew
could state, Herman was aloft on
Thursday, and during the lurching of
the schooner lost his hold on the rig
glng. He fell to the deck and was ter
rlbly injured. Just as he struck a sea
washed over the Bchooner and the hap
less man was carried into the sea,
where he soon sank from sight.
The death of the cook, Dan Sauter,
was a shocking feature of the loss of
the schooner. First Mate Richie had
been at the wheel, but was relieved by
Sauter, A great wave that struck the
rudder caused the wheel to spin with
lightning-like rapidity and the revolv
ing spokes, so frightfully mangled the
cook's body that he could not have
lived an hour. Captain Keegan re
lates that, the cook was literally torn
to pieces, his body having been cut al
most in two. Monster seas were con
stantly sweeping the vessel,' and the
body of the unfortunate went Into the
ocean almost as soon as he had been
killed. The death of the men had a
most depressing effect upon the sur
vivors, but they did not relax their ef
forts to save themselves and the
schooner. ' ''
. - Sails Torn to 8hreds.
The schooner experienced the full
fury of the gale which raged since
Wednesday last ,and her sails were
torn to shreds. Every stitch of canvas
that was set was instantly blown to
strips by the gale, and when the
schooner came drifting In toward
shore yesterday she was making her
way under a small Jib, the last sail
aboard that had not been ruined. From
her masts fluttered the tattered rem
mints of the canvas which had been
set in the effort to get the schooner
into some harbor, and generally she
presented a dilapidated appearance.
Sailed Vessel Ashore.
The opinion was erromwisly express
ed yesterday thnt the Howe had be
come helpless In the gale and drifted
ashore, but Captain Keegan says this
Is a mistake. He says that he had
control of the vessel at alt ltmes and
that he sailed her ashore, in the be
lief that the seven souls aboard could
In no other manner be saved. After
the vessel got Into the breakers she
drifted with the current
"Our experience waa a terrible one,"
lie said, "and we were fortunate to
have been saved, f he death of the
two por fellows who were killed last
Thursday waa an awful calamity, but
it waa fortunate. Indeed, that all of
us were not killed or drowned, i
never before experienced such terrible
weather, and I thank God seven of us
are alive to tell the tale."
Captain Keegan halls from Prince
Edwards Isle and Is an experienced
navigator. He Is heart broken over the
loss of his vessel, although he did
everything possible to save her.
The schooner struck about 300 yards
from high water mark. Had she been
light she would have been driven up
among the drift wood, and less dlflt
culty would have been experienced In
rescuing her crew. Not only Is the
cargo a total loss, but the schooner will
be broken up before nightfall.
Heavy Less to the Owners,
The schooner Frank W. Howe was
a Boston built boat. She was launch
ed In 1891. Her gross tonnage was
573 and her net tonnage 482. She was
capable of carrying about 150,000 feet
of lumber. The Howe's dimensions
were: Length, 159.2 feet; breadth,
35 feet; depth of hold, 14 feet. She
was owned by Bartlett & Co., of Port
Townsend, and was managed N. C.
Strong. The vessel was not insured
and the loss will be a heavy one to
the owners, none of whom Is wealthy.
Attorians Visit Wreck.
When the first news of the disaster
reached Astoria the government tug
Patrol left for Itwaco, taking along
the following party: Special Deputy
Collector of Customs Frank I Parker,
Deputy Collector J. C. McCue, In
spector C. T. Crosby, Charles V,
Brown, C. A. Coolldge, Samuel
Schmidt. Frank Greenough, E. O.
Dlgklnson, I. J. Kem, editor of the
Budget; Mr. Lackey, Captain Rich,
and Photographer Coe. On the way
back the Patrol towed the Hammond
life boat across the river from Uwuco.
The little tug hud a very rough trip
acrons the bay and frequently was
swept by heavy seas, At times she was
almost out of sight and her decks were
constantly, awash. She stood the
storm finely, however, and no damage
Ilwaeo Life Crew. 1
The members of the Ihvaco life crew
who worked so heroically to save the
seven men of the Howe are: Theodore
Donlcke, captain: J. E. Ijeusy. Jo
seph E. Edwards, Cut Sachren, Will
Sachren, Walter Fry and B. G. Gove.
The Fort Canby life crew also render
ed all the assistance possible, and Cap
tain Wlcklund was there with his men
from Hammond to help whenever the
opportunity offered. Captain Wlck
lund phoned over to The Astorian last
night that he had gone across with all
his apparatus and fully prepared to
render what aid might be expected
from his. crew. The distance was so
great, however, the Hummopd crew
was unable to do anything.
The wreck of the Howe was first
sighted at 9 o'clock. At 11 o'clock
she struck and at 2 o'clock the ship
Vrecked mariners jumped from the
life boat onto the beach.
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