New London, CT Three Barges Lost, Jan 1895

MET DEATH AT SEA.

THREE BARGES BREAK AWAY AND ARE LOST IN A SEVERE STORM.

THIRTEEN ARE DROWNED -- AMONG VICTIMS ARE THREE WOMEN AND TWO CHILDREN.

New London, Conn., Jan. 26. -- The ocean tug, Sea King, of Philadelphia, from New York to Providence with a tow of five coal-laden barges, put in to this port late this morning and reported the loss of her entire tow and the consequent deaths of thirteen persons, including three women and two children.
The drowned from the barge Crocus are:
Capt. FRANK HOFFMAN, his wife and daughter and a deck hand named HERMAN, all of South Amboy.
From the Albert McK are:
Capt. HENRY TUCKER, of South Amboy.
Deck Hand CHARLES CARNEY, of Providence.
From the barge F. A. Dingee are:
The Captain, his wife and daughter, one deck hand, names unknown, all supposed to be of South Amboy.
From the barge American Eagle are:
Capt. HARTSHORN and wife, one deck hand, name unknown.
The saved were EDWARD MELLICAN, of Providence, and ANDREW PURRICH, of Hoboken, N.J. The barges were all owned by John Scully, of Perth Amboy, and their cargoes aggregated 3,500 tons of coal consigned to Providence and Newport. Capt. W. E. Umstead, of Philadelphia, who was in charge of the tug, tells this story:
"We left New York Wednesday afternoon with the five barges in tow. Race Rock Light was passed Friday afternoon about 5 o'clock, with the weather good and everything favorable for a good run. Just before midnight a stiff breeze sprang up from the east, and soon blew up a strong southeast gale. The blow was accompanied by blinding snow gusts, and at 3:30 this morning the tow began pulling and hauling in a way that indicated trouble. All hands had gathered aft in order to do something to avert the threatened catastrophe, but when the three stern barges broke away and began to founder, and we impatiently watched them for about half an hour, all the time struggling to save the tug and the two remaining barges from destruction. Then the three barges went down. At 6 o'clock the two remaining barges foundered, and the hawser from them to the tug had to be cut. At great risk the tug was put about and after repeated efforts lines were got to two men who, through the blinding snow, could be discerned on the barge Nulty, which still floated. They jumped overboard and were pulled aboard the Sea King fearfully exhausted. The tug unsuccessfully searched for the others, and it was necessary to run for port to save the tug from the increasing storm. None of the tug's crew has hope that any on the barges beside Mellican and Purrich survived. The tug Ice King, with one barge in tow, passed in Sandy Hook at 6:30 p.m.

St. Paul Daily Globe Minnesota 1895-01-27