Tillamook, OR schooner damaged, Jan 1912
CRAFT BESTS SEA; ENGINEER SAVED
Schooner Patsy in Port by Own Power.
DEANE, FREEZING, RESCUED
Swept Overboard, Man in Icy Waters Nearly One Hour.
HARROWING TALE IS TOLD
Breakers Off Tillamook Too High to Launch Small Boats - Life Buoy Proves Safer - Deane Once Almost Gave Up.
ASTORIA, Or., Jan. 6. - (Special.) - Bringing a tale of a narrow escape from destruction on the Tillamook Bay bar and a tale of the more narrow escape of Charles Deane, her chief engineer and part owner, from drowning, the gasoline schooner Patsy, Captain C. H. Hanson, came into port this afternoon under her own power.
The Patsy sailed from Astoria yesterday bound for Siletz with a general cargo. She arrived off Tillamook Bay about 4 o'clock, and as a strong wind was coming up and the glaes [sic] falling, Captain Hanson decided to run into Tillamook until after the gale was over.
As the little craft headed in through the breakers Frank Sweet was running the engines, while Chief Deane and two of the sailors were at the wheel, Captain Hanson being on the bridge.
Strong Ebb Tide Running.
A strong ebb tide was running, and when the vessel was corssing the inside line of breakers, she struck the bottom hard. The helm was put hard over to bring her to starboard, and just then a terrific sea hit the schooner, shifting her cargo to port and throwing her over until her rail was under water.
This was followed by another sea which flooded the entire craft, the water rushing into the engine room, disabling the starboard engine and the electric light plant. The first sudden lurch of the schooner threw the three men at the wheel across the pilot house and through the door, the two sailors catching on the rail, but Mr. Deane went overboard.
Mate Skog immediately threw overboard two life buoys and lines, and after hard swimming for about 20 minutes Mr. Deane was able to catch one of the buoys. In the meantime the Patsy drifted out across the bar into deep water, where her cargo was righted, and after fully an hour and a half of hard work, her engines were put into running order.
Crew Fails to Respond.
As soon as possible, after Deane was thrown overboard, signals were set for the life-saving crew to go to the man's assistance, but the crew did not respond, evidently misunderstanding the signals, and the only thing those on board the schooner could do was to wait for the man, who was supported by the life buoy, to swin and drift close enough to be picked up.
The breakers were too high to launch one of the schooner's small boats, and Deane was in the water fully three-fourths of an hour before being rescued and hauled on board the vessel, nearly frozen, but otherwise uninjured.
As soon as the engines were repaired the Patsy headed down the Coast, arriving off Yaquina about midnight. She remained there until 4 o'clock this morning, and as the seas were growing rougher and the supply of fuel was running short. Captain Hanson concluded to return to the Columbia River. No sign of the revenue cutter Tahoma or of any other vessel was seen.
All Aboard Well, But Worn.
All aboard are well, but thoroughly worn out from constant work and loss of sleep, and the vessel is not damaged. Deane, in speaking of his experience, said:
"It was a terrible hour and I never want to put in another one like it, although now, except being tired and worn out, I feel no ill-effects from it. Fortunately, when I was thrown overboard, I was not injured. I struck in one of the big comers, and it appeared an age before I came to the surface. As I came up I saw the crew throwing life buoys to me, but they were some distance away, being carried by the strong tide, and I struggled hard for about 20 minutes before I reached one of them.
"Once I almost gave up, but I finally made it. The schooner kept drifting out and to the south, but I was caught in a current and carried some distance to the north, and once she was nearly a mile away. I feared the boys would lose sight of me in the gathering darkness. Suddenly I was caught in a strong southerly set which took me toward the vessel.
"I have had some hard swims before, but I never worked harder in my life than I did until I reached the side of the Patsy and was hauled on deck. While in the water I did not feel the cold greatly, but afterwards I was nearly frozen. However, I am thankful it was no worse."
The Patsy carried no passengers but had a compliment of eight men. She is a small gasoline vessel of 200 tons, and is engaged in freight traffic between Portland and Yaquina. Her name was devised from the first letters of her five port calls, Portland, Astoria, Tillamook, Sluslaw and Yaquina.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, OR 7 Jan 1912