Tuesday, May 17, 2011

George R. Vreeland

George R. Vreeland, January 27, 1908.

The schooner George R. Vreeland was lost (vanished?) east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, with a company of seven. (Berlitz, Without a Trace, p. 22.)

When I noticed these two vanishings, of the Baltimore and the George R. Vreeland, in the same neck of the seas, so close after each other, I immediately thought, storm.

Guess who was right?

The American liner Philadelphia, from Southampton, and the French liner Savoie, from Havre, got in yesterday with tales of gales and terrific seas. The worst day, according to Capt. Poirot of the Savoie, was on Saturday, when the vessel was deluged with the seas and rolled so badly that the steel foremast cracked just below the crow's-nest.

("Storm Cracks Liner's Mast," The New York Times, February 3, 1908.)

Saturday was February 1.

She may have been this wreck:

News of another disaster attributed to the recent storm off the coast was contained in a wireless message received here last night from the tug Astro, bound from New York to Port Arthur, Texas. The tug's message said:

"At 2:17 PM Tuesday, in latitude 34 degrees 7 minutes north, longitude 76 degrees, 45 minutes west passed a sunken vessel, either a four-masted schooner or barge. Her masts were sticking 25 feet out of water; shredded sails, having appearance of having been quickly abandoned. Fore, main, and spanker top-masts still standing; mizzenmast gone.

"Derelict lies in dangerous position in line of lightships." ("Tells of Another Wreck," The New York Times, February 5, 1908.)

Then again, the Vreeland may have been done in by the same storm that likely sank the Baltimore. We don't know what Berlitz meant when he gave the date January 27, 1908, for the Vreeland incident. Did she sail that day? Or was she reported missing that day? In the latter case, she might even be the schooner seen sinking by the Manna Hata.

The report of a sea tragedy was brought in yesterday by the steamer Manna Hata from Baltimore. A three-masted schooner was seen on Thursday evening struggling in the trough of the sea off the Delaware Capes. The Manna Hata had been blown some miles off her course, and when she got near the locality where the vessel had been last seen she was gone and many pieces of wreckage were floating in the water. ("Sloop's Crew near Death," The New York Times, January 27, 1908.)

Thursday was January 23.

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