This Day in Coast Guard History – Oct. 29

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1883-At a quarter before 4 o’clock In the morning the two surfmen on patrol from the Plum Island Station (Second District), below Newburyport, Massachusetts, discovered a vessel ashore on the south breaker at the entrance of Newburyport Harbor, about half a mile northeast of the station. A signal was made to her that she was seen and the men hurried to the station and gave the alarm. The boat reached her shortly after 4 o’clock. She was the schooner Forest Maid with a crew of seven men bound on a fishing cruise. While going out over the bar, the wind being light, she had been carried by the strong ebb tide on to the shoal. The first thing done by her crew was to let go an anchor to hold her, but finding she continued to drive farther on they veered away. They were disappointed, for she soon fetched up hard and fast with ninety fathoms of cable out. As the water was still falling nothing could be done until the flood tide. The life-saving crew remained on board and when the tide began to rise at 8 o’clock, commenced operations by heaving in on the cable, The wind freshened considerably while they were at work, raising quite a swell, which caused the schooner to pound heavily. They persevered, however, gaining a little every time she lifted on the seas, so that by 9 o’clock the schooner was safely afloat and on her way back into the harbor, apparently none the worse for the accident.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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