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About The Oregon daily journal. (Portland, Or.) 1902-1972 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 18, 1906)
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VER, since 'A merican shipping has
been of sufficient importance ', to
"claim attention the deadly men
see of Cape Hatter as ha been dreaded by
the mariner; l Most dangerous point along
the entire coast line of the United States;it
has exacted frightful annual toU of lives
and property. ' ' '
When the storm that twepi up the At
lantic in mid-September had howled its way
past HaSt eras, eight derelicts 'had been
added to old Neptune's prei off that point;
Thrusting Us long shoulder far out
to sea, and then ' with , diabolic'' cunning'
reaching beneath the waters for miles be
yond, a deadly trap of sandy shdals thai
are as iron to the pounding bottoms of un-
fortunate vessels, Cape Hatter as leers both
up and down the coast for its victims, ana
many a gallant world-rover, has sunk there
to doom. - : - .- -
IT Isn't alone the danger of going aahorv
Hatteras that make the tea voyage m
perilous off that point.
The oape itaelf i a rather harmless projeo
tidn of sandy shore that butts boldly oat from
the ooaat line, bat from that point the. bar of
deadly Diamond - Shoals reach out , eighteen
miles into the Atlantic. - .
In rough weather the lamps of the light
ship stationed. there are, not always discernible
before-. the storra-tos?ed .and bewildered sailor
finds his ship foundering on a lump that juts
up from the bottom. .. - t- . . i ,
. When this . happens the' craft may be dis
masted, overturned or broken-backed, and drift
off, a derelict on the lapping waves, without hav
ing been near enough to Cape Hatteras itself
to permit its plight being seen from shore.
ThenTtoo, gales rage with peculiar fury off
this point, 'probably, because of the peculiar
coast formation.; -
' Soon after a severe gale, reports be
gin to come in to the United States Ily
jdrographic Office like the following, which were,
received after the storm of the middle of Sep
tember laft brief and almost nonchalant para
graphs, each telling of some dresd tragedy.!
ffept 17 Ware L.lnr M!co pm1 wooden rae
Ml of 700 ton, bottom up, off Diamond Shoal. -
Bcpt. M Crutacr Cleveland rpirtd by wtrelaaa
that tha thrra-miuted achooner Job H. Jackaon wii
wracked natr Hattcraa; I aeamen loit; captain and
4 man rescued. Vaaaei a derelict. Another derelict,
bottom up, wn nlao aean,
elt. K 6teamr Fredeiirk, Baltimore to Pavannah, '
landed crew of Brltiah brljantlne Ohio, lumber laden, .
from Brunawlck, Oi., to Cape Breton, which was
wrcrked In etorm of Hopt. 17.
flopt. H Steamer Muro Caatle paaaed reteel bottom
tip, wreckage alone-aide. Ratne day saw, another vee
el bottom up; little later passed veaael, evidently
schooner, with Iort aide up. moats and spars aloniflde.
flept 2-tchonner Fairfield, from Port Royal. 8.
C. Ii rhlladelphla, stiuck a partially submeraed
wrrk off liantiMid Shvala, and Was damaged. . fawed
anofher wreck. .
Sept. ft sk sooner Helena, from BaTannah. passed
THE OREGON SUNDAY
"WHERD-TJIE 5BI CLiflMS-KQ3E SflTPS-iSfl) LIVES
THSIf JTifflT OTHER POUJTilLONG OWL COAST.
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a Teasel bottom up, and a large quantity ot lumber .
and wreckage. - -c
Sept. Steamer Monterey, from Havana, passed '
' wrecked schooner bottom up.
Sept. 2 Schooner Robert McFarland, Savannah
Philadelphia, passed two wrecks about one mile apart.
- very low in the water, apparently deeply laden coal "
- barge about Is feet in length.-
. These reports would indicate thirteen
: wrecks in all, but it is probable that the same
derelict, in some instances, wss-reported by two
. or three more vessels. So far can be aacer
. tained, eight wrecks were left in the trail of the '
storm off Hatteras the record, as far as known,
for even that dangerous coast in one gale.r
' An Austrian bark was discovered on fire off
" ITatteras on September 19, but this disaster,
while swelling the remarkable number of dere
lict in those waters, is probably not chargeable .
to hungry Diamond Shoals. t
, Many tales of hardships and eitraotdinary
escapes have jbecn filtering in since the "terrific
blow of September 16-17. The schooner Twi
light, lumber ladon, was csp-ized off Hatteras
'.September 17. .
JOURNAL. PORTLAND. SUNDAY KOONING. irJVCr.ZR 1905
James Qlsen, one of the crew and the only
, one "rescued, so far as known managed to get
clear of the wreckage and to seise hold of two
Olsen remained floating on these planks for
sixty-six hours--Altogether he had been seventy-'-two
hours without food or. drink when picked ,.
tip at midnight, on a dark flight, by the United
States cruiser' Minneapolis, on her way to Cuba.
- Even greater - hardship was endured by
' Thomas' Hock, sailor on-the schooner Oliver S. :
Barrett, who clung to a piece of floating timber
108 hour- without food or sleep." T"A .'
' When' the vessel turned turtle all the crew,',
except the captain, the. cook and Hock, were
t plungc-d, as he thought, to instant death. " The N
. three got hold of pieces of timber, but the cap
' tain and cook were soon washed away, leaving .
, Hock to endure the hours of torture alone. He
was picked up by a steamer and carried to Den
mark, from whence he made his way back to
.New York.' r;-' ;
The ghastly maw 'of Hatteras has been fed
" 1 ... I J
1 "' v
wlth-manr'-victm iJuriwrTecent Tears.- In tha
fiscal year the period of reports by life-saving
stations ending with June, '1905, there were
nineteen disasters. Two lives were lost And ninety-eight
persons were helped at the station
How many others, went down with ships, not
. seen by the life-savers no on will ever know.
Thirty-two wrecks, two lives lost and eighty
one persons helped by the ttfe-savers marked the
previous year's record. . , .
. In 1003 thare were thirty-one wrecks, eleven
- lives were known to be lost and 512 persons were
.aisted:jo jafetyhytha- coast guard-rThcre r
were no drownings in 1902, but twenty-eight
wrecks comprised tho toll of Hatteras, and
. ninety-six persons were rescued by the life-saving
crews... ; . -.- Jr, :
' Three were drowned as a result of the
.' twenty-seven wrecks of 1901, and sixty-nine per
sons were rescued.
"During 1900there 'were forty-two known
'wrecks in the life-saving district that embraces
Cape "Hatteras, resulting in thirty-five deaths.
None of the other life-saving districts of tho
entire country reported more than four drown
A disastrous year at Hatteras wss 1909. In
a singlo hurricane, in Augtit, three vessels wero ,
wrecked there; eleven lives were lost and seven
teen persons wera rescued by the life-saving
During a' gale that is said to have blown
100 miles -an -hour, the- coffee bark Priscilla,
from Rio to Baltimore, was swept ashore, i Ton
men were ; saved, but the captain's wife and
two sons' and the cabin boy were drownetLA :
".'From the wreck of the schooner Beppard,
bound to Savannah from Philadelphia, five were
drowned and only three saved. - Another doomed
vesel gave two of its crew to the hungry, waters
. before they could be rescued. V
' ' Most noted and terrible of the manr dis
asters at Hatteras was the wreck of the United
States warship. Huron,' on "November 24, 1877.
Of 133 persons on board, Captain Ryan , and
ninety-seven others were lostT) .
At 1 o'clock on a Saturday morning during
heavy blow, the Huron struck; on one of tha
ecffCSTof "Diamond" Shoals. 5he nung together.
however, pounded over this into the deeper water
within, and then,! staggering and helpless like a
bewildered drunken man, waft awept little by
little shoreward until she grounded finally on
bar 800 yards from the beach. . .
Through six terrible hours the vessel lay
pounding on thevbar until daybreak. Many of
the crew had already been lost, together with the
commander. About fifty men wore huddled on
the forecastle. . ,
Accompanied bv Seaman Antonio Williams.
"who volunteered. Ensign Lueien Young swan)
ashore through the boiling surf and on the way
rescued two sailors who were struggling in tho
water. Barefoot and bruised. Young ran to the .
life-saving station, four miles distant, only to
find it locked and the crew off duty, as it was
not the. active season.
- Breaking in the door of tho station Young
got out the mortar and other apparatus ana
' hired a team to take them to the soene of wreck.
While he was yet a quarter of a mile away,
however,' the Huron went to pieces and all that .
.could be done was . to assist ashore four officers
and about thirty men who j were floating on
-wreckage. - ' '-; -' - A .' - -1
The steamer Metropolis was the only other
big wreck that winter. This wooden vessel of
573 tons sailed January 20, 1878 from Phila
delphia for Brazil, with a cargo of railroad Iron -and
largo number-of workmen for railroad,
construction. ... - .
She struck at 8 o'clock in the morning and
went to pieces. Of the 245 men on tho ship,
eighty-five lost their. lives.
. A When the British steamer Alios to, front
Galveston, went ashore, December 24, 1899, in. '
a driving rainstorm and with a heavy sea run
ning, the captain put twenty-six of the orew of
thirty men into boats wnion promptly capsized,'
Two of the struggling sailors were hauled
back on board the wreck and on swam ashore
Two others got near enough to shore to b
rescued by the life-savers, but twenty-one wore)
drowned. " .
The four ho remained aboard were taken
off in a breeches buoy by the life-saving crew.
Not all the tragedies of Cape Hatteras are
known. Many a vessel sails proudly from port
and is never heard of again.
In 1903 the steamer Luckenbaeh .start
from - Sabine t Pass, "Texas, . for Philadelphia,
with 1.250,000 gallons of oil. She got as far as
Cape Hatteras ard disappeared. Nothing has
ever - been ' heard of .the , ship or her crew of
twenty-one men. - t ' . .- ' .
- While a lightship has been kept off Dia
mond Shoals for many years, and has doubtless
warned many vessels from the dangerous place,
4hns not proved -entircly-sntisfactOTjr
. A massive -permanent lighthouse is now to
be erected on the outer edge of Diamond
Shoalu, at a cost of $750,000. This. will carry a
light at a height of 150 feet above sea level,,
which can be seen at a distance of fifteen milea.
Such a structure, it it believed, will stand
the most r.ngry pounding of old ocean, and will
do much good to brtnk the terrors of Hatteraa
as the. most deadly place along the Amerioaa-
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