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Six Lost in 1909 Wreck

Footnotes to Long Island History

Six Lost in 1909 Wreck
February 1967

by

Thomas R. Bayles


          Here is another tale of shipwreck on long island beach back in 1909 is taken from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for January 18, 1909.

       The little Schooner Swallow of St. John's, Newfoundland was wrecked on the outer bar in a storm on Sunday morning about half a mile east of the Blue Point life saving station, directly opposite Patchogue. The entire crew of six were drowned, and destruction happened too quickly for the life savers to be of any assistance to the doomed crew.

        The craft was first seen on her beam ends on the outer bar with the seas sweeping over her by patrolman Ernest Huline, Capt. Rorke started out at once with his crew, after calling for help from the Bellport station, and the Lone Hill station .Both Capt. Kreamer and Capt. Goddard of those stations responded with their crews to help out,

      The breeches buoy gear was pulled to the scene, but no signs of life were visible on the dismantled craft and Capt Rorke and his men could only watch the wreck as it went to pieces in the raging storm and within half an hour all that was left of the little "swallow" was wreckage being swept along to westward.  It was the worst storm of the winter with a pouring rain making it impossible to go more than a short distance.

       It was thought from all that could be gathered that the schooner capsized as soon as she struck the outer bar. She was deep in the water as she carried a deck load of lumber besides a cargo of herring in her hold.

       Capt George C. Dagget of St. John's, who chartered the schooner said she carried a crew of six men from Newfoundland and had a cargo of frozen herring slit herring and cod, besides the lumber.

       How she came to be in the position when she ran around off Patchogue was never known, as a schooner answering her description passed Quogue about 3 p.m. the day before and should have reached Sandy Hook by midnight at the latest. Another unsolved mystery of the sea.

 

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