"The Blue Book says we've got to go out and it doesn't say a damn thing about having to come back." --Captain Patrick Etheridge, USLSS
A compilation of U.S. Life-Saving Service reports, newspaper articles, publications and more related to shipwrecks of the N.C. coast. Does not include ships that were hauled off or otherwise saved.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Schooner Ario Pardee ~ 29 December 1884
Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1885:
Just before midnight of the 28th the south patrol of the Wash Woods Station (6th District), North Carolina saw a schooner close in, about a quarter of a mile south of the station. The sea was running high, and the weather was thick and foggy. He hurried to the station and reported his discovery to the keeper, who at once turned out the crew and had the beach apparatus hauled down the shore to a point abreast of the vessel and placed in position. Several shots were fired, but they failed to effect communication. Her red and white running lights were burning, but no signals of distress were seen. The sea was so bad that it was deemed hazardous to launch the surf boat before morning. After daylight it was seen the vessel was anchored just outside of the breakers and badly crippled. The keeper tried to communicate with her by means of the International Code, but no answer came, for the reason, as was afterwards ascertained, that she had no signals on board. She, however, set her ensign union down, as a signal of distress. By this time the crews of the False Cape and the Currituck Beach Stations arrived on the ground to render assistance. The surf boat was soon successfully launched and the vessel boarded. The keeper provided each of the vessel’s crew with a cork life preserver and placed them and their baggage in the boat, and at 9 o’clock had them all safely landed. The schooner proved to be the Ario Pardee, of Perth Amboy, NJ, from Rondout, NY, bound to Chester, PA, with a cargo of cement and a crew of four men. An hour later she parted her chains and drove upon the bar, where she soon began to break up. The crew were sheltered and fed at the station 12 days. The captain, having lost his shoes, was provided with a pair from the stock donated by the Women’s National Relieve Association. The vessel and cargo were a total loss. The following statement was handed to Keeper Corbel by the captain of the schooner:
WASH WOODS, NORTH CAROLINA, December 31, 1884
I sailed December 8, 1884, from Perth Amboy, with a crew of five men, all told, on the schooner A. Pardee, of Perth Amboy, bound from the port of Rondout, New York, to Chester, Pennsylvania, with a cargo of cement. Sailed at 7 a.m. Wind northwest. Passed Sandy Hook 11 a.m. When abreast of Long Branch, the wind shifted to north, and commenced to snow. At 6 p.m., wind blowing a gale from the north, took in sail, and run the vessel before the wind under a reefed mainsail and jib. Gale lasted fifty-six hours, in which we had continuous high seas, washing everything movable from deck; stove water casks and split sails. Afterwards took a gale from south, lasting about twenty-four hours, and run before that. Then took a gale northwest, and run that out. Then, wind shifting to northeast, made what sail we could and run for land. Made lightship off Five-Fathom Bank. When about five miles off took westerly gale, lasting twelve hours. Hove vessel to. When wind abated, made sail again and stood for land. Made Indian River Inlet, Delaware. Wind hauled to north. We tried to beat to Delaware Breakwater. When about five miles southeast of Cape Henlopen, blew away jib. Hove the vessel to again, wind blowing a gale and snowing. The next day, our boat being stove and the vessel leaking badly, spoke to steam Chattahoochie and asked to be taken off. The steamer made two attempts to take us off. They got one man by life buoy and line. The sea running very high and night coming on, she left us. We lay hove-to about sixty hours, when gale abated. Made what sail we could and steered west for land. Weather very foggy. At midnight December 28 we sighted a bright red light ahead [probably Currituck Beach light] and saw breakers. Let go both anchors. In a short time saw lights on shore and heard guns fired at intervals during the night. Heard two shots pass over the vessel, but could not find any line. At daylight 2th we discovered that we were near a life saving station and saw signals by flags. We had no code to answer signals. Set our ensign in distress. Soon life boat was launched and we were rescued, (about 9 a.m.) Vessel still afloat, but sea running very high. At 10 a.m. vessel parted chains and came ashore, and soon began breaking up. Vessel was about a quarter of a mile from shore, in two and a half fathoms of water, when we were rescued by Captain Corbel and his brave crew, and only for their aid we would most likely have all been lost. We, the master and crew of the schooner Ario Pardee, desire to return our most sincere thanks to Captain Corbel and his men for their timely rescue of us from our perilous position and their kind treatment of us since. HENRY A. SMITH, Master ; JOHN W. COMER ; OLE JENSEN ; JOHN FORCE