Tuesday, June 29, 2004

The Wreck of The Tiger, June 29, 1585

Four hundred and nineteen years ago, Sir Walter Raleigh made his second expedition to the North Carolina coast. Under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, and with seven vessels and six hundred men, they were attempting to establish a permanent English colony on the North American continent.

In June, 1585 the expedition arrived at Wokokon (Ocracoke) Inlet. Because of pilot error (rather than the usual storm conditions) their flagship, the Tiger, ran aground on June 29. This was the second recorded shipwreck on the North Carolina coast.

In spite of the crew's success in preventing the ship from breaking apart, most of the provisions were lost.

Almost two weeks later, after repairing the Tiger, the expedition sailed across Pamlico Sound to explore the mainland coast. When the leaders returned to England they had little to say in support of the area. Lieutenant Ralph Lane denounced Wokokon Inlet in particular as a treacherous waterway devoid of reliable harbors.

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