Plum Island, MA Schooner Florida Wreck, Feb 1896

Seven Men on the Florida Went to the Bottom.

SALISBURY BEACH, Mass., Feb. 10.---Yesterday was a day long to be remembered along this stretch of shore, so full of dangers and perils to mariners, and so fearfully memorable for loss of life and the engulfing of vessels.

Early yesterday morning a heavy snowstorm, driven in fierce blasts by an angry northeaster, set in and continued all day long. Such a day as is want to be greeted by the hardy fishermen with ominous forebodings as to the fate of vessels whose way of destination might bring them near this "graveyard" of sailors and their barks."

The heavy wind stirred up a fearful sea. It grew in force and the waves gathered in height until the breakers came rolling and thundering in on shore in great mountain masses of water.

It was shortly after 3 o'clock when reports spread along the beach that the wind and sea had at last seized a prey--- a big three-masted schooner---which, after repeated attempts to keep off, had at last been forced ashore.

She had grounded about a mile off the beach, side on, and was, when discovered, at the mercy of both wind and waves. The vessel was made out to be the schooner Florida, coal laden, and bound for Newburyport.

The Plum Island life-saving crew reached here last night and attempted to reach the vessel with a line for the breeches buoy. Seven men were seen in the rigging when the Florida came ashore yesterday afternoon.

Big bonfires were built on the beach and attempts made by fishermen to reach the fated schooner. Bombs with lines attached, thrown by lifesaving crew, were not caught by the sailors on the Florida, who were in a benumbed condition. Five of them were on the mizzenmast, one one the mainmast and the other on the bowsprit. During the evening hatches and portions of the Florida's boats came ashore. A portion of the lifesaving crew will patrol the beach on watch for other bodies. Several hundred people saw the wreck go to pieces.

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