Sandy Hook, NJ Steamer NEPTUNE Sinks, Jan 1866



Between 4 and 5 o'clock yesterday morning, the boiler of the steamer NEPTUNE, then lying off the Spit buoy at Sandy Hook, exploded, and by the explosion two persons are supposed to have been killed instantaneously or drowned. Five of the employes of the boat were severely but, happily, not mortally scalded. The boat filled and sank immediately after the explosion.
MR. PETER ATKINS, the only one of the crew of the NEPTUNE that has made a statement, says that he was relieved from his watch at about 4 o'clock yesterday morning, and that not long after he had gone to his bunk, he was awakened by an explosion which threw him to the floor from his berth. MR. ATKINS next became aware that the steamer was filling, and he had barely time to board the tug Resolute before the NEPTUNE went down, carrying with her, it is supposed, HENRY McGINNESS, the colored cook, and GEORGE KANINE, one of the deck hands.
MR. ATKINS and four others of the crew of the NEPTUNE, severely but not mortally scalded, were taken with all possible haste to the city by the steam tug Resolute, but, by a remarkable coincidence, when the Resolute was off Staten Island, the cylinder-head of her boiler burst, and MR. ROGER WILLIAMS, son of the captain of the NEPTUNE, who was sitting in the Resolute's engine-room, after having escaped injury by the first explosion, was very severely scalded.
The sufferers were taken to the New York Hospital, and there attended by DRS. SABINE and WHITE. Their condition last night was described by the hospital physicians as decidedly favorable. ROGER WILLIAMS, son of the NEPTUNE'S captain, was said to have been only slightly scalded; PETER ATKINS was suffering from burns of abdomen, not serious; JOHN COGSWELL, scalds of abdomen; BERNARD QUINN, scalds of abdomen; JOHN WALKER is thought to have been mortally scalded.
The NEPTUNE was a new boat, built and owned at Rondout by MESSRS. JOHN DILLON & Co. She was 125 feet in length and 75 tons burden. She was valued at $80,000.

The New York Times New York 1866-01-04