Barnegat,NJ Schooner LUCINDA G PORTER Wreck, Dec 1890


Pitiful Story Told by the Only Survivor of a Wrecked Schooner’s Crew.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., Dec. 30.—A terrible story of suffering is told by the sole survivor of the crew of eight men of the schooner Lucinda G. Potter, bound from Boston to Norfolk, which capsized Sunday off Barnegal. Five men were probably drowned at once; three were able to gain lodgment on a portion of the vessel’s house, but two of them died from exposure. The sole survivor was picked up by men from the schooner A. D. Lamson and brought to this port today. Captain Smith of the Lamson said that about 9 o’clock Sunday night when about fifty miles off Five Fathom Bank Lightship, he heard sounds like calls for help, but owing to the fury of the wind he could not be certain. He finally determined to launch a boat of which Mate Smith, his son, took charge, which after most wearisome rowing came within sight of a vessel which proved to be the Potter. Pulling closer they found themselves alongside the upper portion of the vessel’s house on which were three men. One of the men was dead and the other two were scarcely more than alive. They were taken into the life-boat as quickly as possible, the united efforts of the rescuing party being required to disengage the Captain from the raft. His hands and body were so benumbed by cold and exposure that it was extremely difficult to loosen his clutch. Everything possible was done for the comfort of the suffering men, but half an hour after arriving on board Captain Evans died. The other man, whose name is Charles Wallenberger, soon got over the effects of his terrible experience. The men were on the raft for nearly ten hours, with the seas dashing over them and the cold biting wind piercing to their very vitals. The Potter had sprung a leak and became water-logged. She drifted about all Saturday night, while the water in her hold increased rapidly, sinking her deeper and deeper in the water. About noon Sunday she suddenly careened and a moment later floated bottom up. Only the three men mentioned succeeded in gaining a place of temporary safety on the top of the vessel’s house. The others were not seen again. Wallenberger said to a reporter: “A furious snow storm prevailed all during the ten hours we clung to our frail raft. We all shouted as long and as loud as we could, but the captain became exhausted and the death of the other man left only myself to signal for help. I continued calling without much hope of attracting attention, and when the answering shouts came out of the darkness and the life-boat pulled alongside I was so benumbed and helpless that I felt almost ready to drop into the sea. It was a most awful experience, and I never want to undergo one-tenth of the hardship again.”

Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 31 Dec 1890