Mantoloking, NJ (Off Shore) Loss Of JOHN MINTURN Ship, Mar 1846
A SHIPWRECK SCENE.
The New York papers give the following particulars of the loss of the ship "John Minturn."
The ship received a pilot on board on Saturday afternoon, and went ashore on Sunday morning, between 9 and 10 o'clock, in the very height of the storm. She struck with tremendous violence, and as the waves raised her up the second time, she broke in two, but did not entirely separate. The confusion at the moment of striking was terrible, but when the worst was known, every effort was made to do whatever could be performed under the circumstances, for the preservation of the lives of those on board, numbering in all fifty-one souls, including five cabin and twenty steerage passengers. The masts were cut away to ease her, but with very little effect, as she continued to thump and grind terribly. The yawl boat was then cut loose from the stern davits, but the surf ran so high, before she could be got around, she swamped and was rendered useless.
The captain, with his wife, son, daughter and servant, together with the cabin passengers, took refuge in the poop cabin, the only place where they could be sheltered from the violence of the sea, which was pouring over them.
By great exertions, the long boat was cast adrift, and launched over the bows, all of the head rigging having been previously cut away, so that it should not interfere with getting her off. Five of the crew and one of the steerage passengers, a Portuguese, sprang into her, and a long coil of line was stowed in the stern sheets, by which it was intended to carry a hauser to the shore, and she shoved off. When near the shore, the under-tow was so strong it was found impossible to carry the line further and those in the boat were forced either to cut it, or return to the ill-fated ship.
They chose the former course, and landed in safety, having cut off the only chance of saving those on board the wreck. In this situation they remained, exposed to the violence of the sea and the cold, which was intense, for ice formed as soon as their clothes were wet. Toward noon, all on board who were alive, for some had already sunk under their terrible sufferings, went forward to the top gallant forecastle, where they lashed themselves as they best could, to prevent the sea from washing them off. Capt. STARK and his mate, together with the pilot remained, it is thought, in the poop cabin, and about noon, the vessel broke entirely in two, amidships, the after part drifting away and they were drowned.
All this time the vessel so near the shore that had any effort whatsoever been made, by procuring a boat, every soul on board might have been saved, but it was not until near eleven at night that any attempt was made to reach the vessel by those on hand. The top-gallant forecastle was crowded with the passengers and crew, among them MRS. STARK, with her son, a fine manly boy of 12 or 14 years of age, who had behaved throughout with a coolness and courage far beyond his years, her daughter, the female servant and MRS. FORBES, the wife of MR. FORBES, one of the cabin passengers. In the early part of the day, while struggling to get forward, MRS. STARK was thrown down by a water cask, which had broken adrift, and one side of her face was entirely laid open, but she uttered no murmurs of complaints, seeming anxious only for the safety of her husband and beloved children. In the afternoon the forecastle broke in two, fore and aft, and about half of those lashed to it were precipitated into the wreck beneath, where they met an instantaneous death. Of the remainder, no one was saved alive, all having perished from the combined effects of the cold and the sea pouring over them.
Fifteen of the unhappy sufferers, including the captain's wife and children and a female steerage passenger, with an infant, were clustered around the stump of the foremast, exposed for nearly twelve hours to all the fury of the storm, and ten of these died there before any attempt was made to rescue them. MRS. STARK, about five minutes before she breathed her last, turned to KING, the sailor, and begged him to save her husband and children, but they had all gone before her. The female steerage passenger, who had an infant at the breast, died in MR. KING'S arms; and when her body was found on Tuesday, her infant was so closely clasped to her breast, that it was found impossible to separate them, and they were thus buried.
Between 10 and 11 at night the boat came from the shore, and took off the survivors, viz: the second mate, two of the crew and four of the steerage passengers, who had lived through that awful scene, making thirteen only saved out of fifty-one.