The schooner Lillie F. Schmidt stranded on Ocracoke beach at 6 a.m., March 9, 1893, about 10 miles from the Life Saving Station at Hatteras Inlet. According to the official report, "The ship was reported to the keeper at 11 a.m. by two citizens of Ocracoke. The weather was smoky with strong winds, flood tide, sea very high."
Excerpts from Keeper James W. Howard's report:
"...keeper called out crew and also employed [Wheeler Howard and Mathias Ballance, the two citizens who had reported the wreck] to help as the distance was so long and laborious."
"...left station fifteen minutes to eleven with mules, two sets of gear [weighing more than 1000 pounds, in a two-wheeled cart] and arrived to schooner 2:30 p.m."
"...got the gear in working order bringing them all [seven sailors] ashore in buoy [the "breeches buoy" was a pair of canvas pants attached to a life ring that was conveyed to the ship by pulleys and ropes shot to the stranded vessel from a brass cannon] by 4 trips the men of wrecked schr [schooner] were so worn out could not get them to station -- sent them up to the settlement and had them cared for the distance was so great that they could not travel."
"...left wreck at 5:30 p.m. arriving at station 8:30 p.m."
"...no patrol that night up til 12 [midnight] men was so tired and worn out after walking over twenty miles I thought theys ought to rest."
P.C. Vaneilder, Captain of the Lillie F. Schmidt, wrote to "Mr. Kimble, Supr. of LSS": "I desire to express my thanks to Capt. J.W. Howard and crew for their prompt service in landing myself and crew safely from vessel and attending our needs."
It was all in a day's work for the members of the United States Life Saving Service!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of windmills on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news012113.htm.