Seal Island, NS Steamer GERONA Wrecked, Jan 1898
STRUCK ON THE ROCKS.
THE STEAMER GERONA WRECKED OFF SEAL ISLAND.
ABANDONED BY HER CREW.
ALL THE SAILORS EXCEPT ONE REACH SHORE IN SAFETY -- THE VESSEL FOUNDERED.
Special Dispatch to The Standard.
Halifax, Jan. 1. -- The steamer Gerona, British, of the Thomson Line, which left Portland on Thursday night for London with 400 head of horses and cattle, struck off Seal Island, on the western part of this coast, at 4 o'clock yesterday morning. She came off the rocks with 15 feet of water in her forehold. Capt. BAXTER and his crew of 60 men abandoned the steamer in three boats. Second Officer ALFRED WATSON and 24 men arrived at Forben's Point, Wood's harbor, at noon yesterday. The other boats, with the captain and 26 men, steered for Seal Island, with the weather very rough. It is not known why the Gerona was so far out of her course on the coast of Nova Scotia. There is a very strong current here and a high southeast wind has prevailed. The Gerona is one of the best freight boats of the Thomson Line. She had a cargo of cheese, pulp and produce besides her horses and cattle. The cargo is estimated to be worth $200,000 and the ship $150,000. She was 1,900 tons net and 3,500 gross. The government steamer Newfield and the Halifax steamer Ulundi went out this morning in search of the Gerona.
The two boats in charge of Capt. BAXTER and the third officer, with 35 men, succeeded with great difficulty in making Seal Island after they abandoned the Gerona. This afternoon the steamer Edna R. took the men off Seal Island to Yarmouth. Seaman CARL was drowned while leaving the Gerona in trying to get a place in one of the boats.
A telephone from Cape Sable Light reports dead cattle, hay and a damaged boat drifted ashore there. At Clarke's Harbor it is reported that many dead cattle are ashore. The cattle and hay were on the first deck, and the fact of these coming ashore, Mate WATRUN thinks, is not proof that the steamer has foundered or is broken up.
Capt. BAXTER, while at Yarmouth, however, said that the Gerona struck near Blonde Rock and immediately began to sink. The crew took to the boats without attempting to save even their clothing. They laid by till daylight, when the steamer was not to be seen and they supposed that she went down.
Syracuse Standard New York 1898-01-03