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Scribner's Magazine, 1892

    This article has been reprinted in its entirety from the February 1892 edition of Scribner's Magazine. The only changes made have been the addition of paragraph breaks to make reading easier, and several links to more information about specific ships.

    This article was published in combination with "The Revenue-Cutter Service: Its Work in the Relief of Vessels in Distress", by Lt. Percy W. Thompson, U.S.R.M., which can be seen here.

    A hi-resolution scan of the original pair of articles can be seen here (pdf, 6.4MB.




Some Typical Rescues by the Revenue-Cutters

by Samuel A. Wood.

    Nor less hardy than the rough-and-ready surfmen of the Life-saving Service who patrol our coast day and night are the officers and crews of the cruising cutters, who look so fine in sunny ports, and it is the purpose of this article to recall a few of their adventures and heroic deeds. Many acts of heroism are frequently performed in the routine of duty, and the world hears nothing of them. Not a few of these officers are the descendants of sturdy captains of old American clippers that made the "gridiron" a bit of bunting frequently seen and honored in ports of the Old World long ago. They have a strong hereditary love for the life they have chosen, and a coolness in time of danger characteristic of their illustrious progenitors. Such an officer was Second Lieutenant John U. Rhodes, of the cutter Dexter. His father was the skipper of the famous California packet Golden Fleece, and aboard of her, when a mere boy, he began his career as a sea-rover. His matchless courage in the disaster to the steamship City of Columbus, of the Savannah Line, off Gay Head, the westernmost cape of Martha's Vineyard, on January 14, 1884, won him the plaudits of a continent and promotion in his profession. No brighter instance of the valor and seamanship of the Revenue Marine officers may be found than that exhibited by the men of the Dexter at this memorable wreck.

    The City of Columbus left Boston for Savannah, on Thursday, January 17, 1884, with eighty-two passengers and a crew of forty-five persons; she was a stanch iron vessel of nearly two thousand tons, and was commanded by Captain S. E. Wright, who had made innumerable passages through the treacherous waters of Vineyard Sound, and was familiar with their every reef and shoal. Many of the steamship's passengers were invalids, going south to escape the rigors of a northern winter, and win back lost health. The night was cold, and here and there in the quiet sky stars were visible. A gale was whistling out of the west, lashing up a high head-sea. When the vessel was within half an hour's sail of the promontory of Gay Head, and less than an hour from the open ocean, Captain Wright went below, leaving Quartermaster Roderick McDonald and Second Mate Edward Harding in charge of the pilot-house. The course of the steamship was southwest by south. Less than a minute before she struck the man on lookout forward rushed into the pilot-house and exclaimed tremulously that the Devil's Bridge buoy was close on the port bow. Devil's Bridge is a double ledge of submerged rocks abreast of Gay Head light. The outer ledge is an eighth of a mile from the mainland, and on either side is very deep water. It has been the scene of many wrecks, the most recent of which was that of the United States war-vessel Galena. When the two men in the pilot-house of the City of Columbus realized the proximity of the terrible reef, they were for a moment nearly unnerved. The lookout had barely told the danger before the keel of the steamship grated on the ledge. The second mate ordered the quartermaster to put the wheel to port. The order came too late. Again the vessel's keel thumped on the reef. The force of the impact was so slight at first that only a few of the passengers were awakened. Captain Wright felt the gentle jar, and supposing he had run down some small sailing craft, he sprang from his bed and ran to the pilot-house, repeating the order of the second mate, "Hard aport!" the moment he saw what had happened.

    It was about three o'clock in the morning. The captain saw the Gay Head light on the port bow through the land haze. He believed at first that he was not so fast on the reef that he could not work off. He signalled the engineer to back at full speed and threw the wheel over to starboard. The effort was unavailing. Then he ordered the men forward to hoist the jib, hoping to cant the vessel's head to starboard into deeper water. She swung off a few points and then swerved back again. While these attempts were being made to release her from the deadly grip of the reef, not a dozen of the passengers knew what had happened, and few of the crew realized their danger. As a last resort Captain Wright determined to try to pass over the obstruction, and he gave the engineer the signal to go ahead. The steamship only pounded more on the reef. By this time all the passengers had been awakened. The purser and his assistant had gone around knocking on their state-room doors, ordering them to get up, saying that the vessel was ashore. Supplementing the verbal warnings, the passengers heard the roar of the wild sea on the reef, and throwing whatever outer garments were nearest around them, they hurried into the saloon. Many were congregated there with grave faces, mutely looking questions that they feared to ask, when the captain, who had abandoned the pilot-house, came down among them and told them that all captains of sinking ships tell their passengers, that they would be saved, but that they had better put on life-preservers anyhow. He calmed the fears of many, but he was hardly through talking when a cataract of freezing water poured down the companionway among them and created a panic. They crowded up the stairs and rushed out on deck. At this instant a towering sea roared athwart the ship, and every woman and child, and half of the men aboard her, were swept away. Before the giant wave struck her, about forty men had climbed into the rigging.

    Living on deck was impossible afterward. There was a great gash in the ship's port side, and sea after sea broke across her. Two boats were launched and dashed to pieces against her iron sides. The benumbed men in the rigging watched the Gay Head light, gleaming like an evil eye, until it was lost in the whiteness of the coming day. Now and then a body floated out of the cabin and was borne away on the foamy waves. Their hearts beat high with hope for a little time just after daylight, when they saw a steamer three miles away, bound to the westward. She was the Glaucus. Her captain did not notice that there were men in the rigging of the wreck, and he kept on his course. Hope in the hearts of some of the men vanished with the Glaucus, and they let go their hold on the ratlines and dropped into the sea. A boat was seen coming out from Gay Head Point at half-past ten o'clock. It was manned by the Indian life-savers. They dared not approach near, as their boat would have been smashed by the floating wreckage or against the wreck itself. They shouted to the men in the rigging to jump. Six of them accepted the invitation and were picked up by the Indians. The boat returned to the wreck and saved others in the same way.

    The Dexter was laboring to the eastward through the heavy seas while the brave Indians were working at the wreck. She came within sight of the high land of Gay Head soon after dawn. It was Lieutenant Rhodes's watch. He saw through his glass the dim outlines of a vessel's masts, slanting, as if she were ashore. He reported his discovery to Captain Gabrielson. and the Dexter was headed in the direction of Gay Head under all steam. As she drew nearer to the wreck, a score of men were discerned clinging to the rigging above water. All hands were called, and preparations were made for launching the boats. The Dexter steamed to windward of the wreck, and the cutter was swung out on the davits and lowered into the turbulent water, with Lieutenant Rhodes in command. It flew to leeward on a tall wave toward the wreck. The boat's crew pulled carefully, and when just under the lee of the rigging to which some of the survivors were clinging, the lieutenant ordered them to jump, assuring them that they would be saved. Thirteen men trusted their lives to him. Everyone was picked up.

    Two men remained dangling in the rigging, apparently unconscious. The plucky lieutenant determined to save them, if they had enough vitality left to stand transferrence to the cutter. It would have been courting death to have gone near enough in the cutter to take the exhausted men in the rigging off. There was only one other way to help them. Lieutenant Rhodes adopted that. He fastened a line around his waist and boldly plunged into the riot of frigid waters. A piece of wreckage struck him, and the men in the cutter, fearful for his life, dragged him back on board. He was undismayed by the accident, and went overboard again. This time he reached the wreck, got the men from the rigging and brought them with him to the cutter. They died after being put aboard the Dexter. After the launching of the cutter, the Dexter steamed to leeward of the wreck and anchored, in order to pick the cutter up. Her anchor-chain was tough and her holding-ground good, or she would have been unequal to the task of facing the heavy seas, into which she dipped her prow at frequent intervals. Lieutenant Kennedy had gone out in the Dexter's gig with a volunteer crew to assist his daring brother-officer. He could not get near the wreck because of the lightness of his boat, but he saved men who had drifted to leeward of the cutter, and picked up several bodies.

    The gallantry of the Dexter's officers and crew received ample recognition. The Legislature of Connecticut, Lieutenant Rhodes's native State, thanked him; the Humane Society of Massachusetts gave him its gold medal, and the President of the United States ordered him to be advanced twenty-one numbers in his grade. Captain Gabrielson also received a medal from the Humane Society, and certificates were awarded to the other officers. Each of the crew received a money reward. Congress recognized the rescue in joint resolutions, and the Secretary of the Treasury made it the theme of a congratulatory circular, which was read at muster on every vessel in the service.

    Many of the rescues accomplished by the cutters have been in conjunction with the men of the Life Saving Service. Probably the most thrilling event of this nature was the succor of the crew of the three-masted schooner Ada Barker, from an isolated rock near Outer Green Island, on January 13, 1891, by the men of the cutter Woodbury, commanded by Captain A. A. Fengar. The rock is called the Junk of Pork, and is one of the most dangerous on the Maine coast. It rises precipitously to a height of nearly fifty feet from the surface of the sea, and is encompassed with countless bowlders and jagged reefs. The Woodbury steamed out of Portland on January 12th on her mission of deliverance. A southeasterly gale, which whipped up lofty beam seas, compelled her to proceed slowly. She rolled bulwarks under now and then, and the seas washed across her decks. A cannon got adrift, but it was secured before it had a chance to do any damage. The Junk of Pork was one of the first objects of anxious observation by the officer on watch. It was hidden much of the time in a smother of foam and spray from the seas that broke in frosty shreds against its vertical sides, and swirled in chalky masses around its base. The officer thought he saw dark forms in a state of frantic activity on the flat top of the rock. A glass was levelled at the forms and they were made out distinctly to belong to six men. Two of them were flourishing shirts on sticks, and the others were waving their arms. The cutter was headed for the rock, and her men saw, in an interval when it was not enveloped in spray, the shapeless outlines of a wreck far up against its windward side.

    The cutter's whistle screeched encouragement to the men on the rock, and she cruised around until night, hoping the sea would abate enough to permit her to drift in a line to the rock and pull one or more of the shipwrecked men through the breakers. But the sea still raged at dark, and the officers held a consultation in the pilot-house and decided to steam back to Portland, procure dories, and make an effort to land on the rock at dawn of the next day. The Woodbury's boats, Captain Fengar said in his report of the rescue, could not have lived for a moment in the terrific breakers.

    It was an hour before daybreak when the shivering castaways heard the welcome blasts of the cutter's whistle. On her way out she had conveyed the tidings of the wreck to the Cape Elizabeth Life-saving Station. She lay by the rock until daylight, sending up at short intervals vapory toots of encouragement to the six anxious sailors. While her men were preparing to launch the dories and the white cutter, the lifeboat from Cape Elizabeth, with her crew of yellow-jacketed men encircled with life-belts, hove in sight. Now, the cutter men looked upon the castaways as "particularly their own meat" (as one of the young officers expressed it), and they determined to make a strenuous effort to get to the rock first, even if they did have only ordinary open boats.

    The two cutters were dropped in a twinkling, and made a dash for the breakers. Captain Fengar made a little speech to the crew of the first cutter, which followed the buoyant dories. He said: "Now, boys, we want you to get those men. You must not fail. God bless you!" Lieutenant Howland, an old whaler, had charge of the cutter. Two seamen, who were originally assigned to her were relieved, much to their disgust, to make room for Third Lieutenant J. E. Scott and Cadet Van Cott, who entreated Captain Fengar to let them go and pull at an oar. It was a splendid race for the peerless prize of human lives between the Woodbury's boats and the life-boat. The crew of the life-boat were tired from the exertion of an eight-mile row through a choppy sea, and they were not able to cope with the fresh oarsmen of the Woodbury.

    The dory manned by Seamen Haskell and Gross was the first to reach the rock. It brought off one man and carried him safely to the Woodbury. The race between the white cutter and the life-boat was still on. The broad, belted backs of the life-savers bent like hickory bows under the stentorian encouragement of their captain, who stood in the stern-sheets vibrating his body to the swing of the oars. The men in the cutter pulled lustily, resolved not to let their chance of winning glory be snatched from them at the very moment when it seemed to be within their grasp. Their boat plunged into the breakers ahead of the life-boat and cleared a submerged reef on the crest of a comber. But she would have been swamped if Lieutenant Scott had not leaped into the freezing surf and held her against the return of the undertow. He disappeared for a moment. Then he came up again, half frozen, but dauntless, with his hands on the cutter's bow. The next roller landed her on a strip of rock. The life-savers hesitated on the verge of the breakers. They were deliberating whether they should shoot a line to the rock or risk landing. The intrepid action of the cutter's crew decided them, and they headed for the rock. The stem of their boat was stove on a bowlder, and she became unmanageable. She was extricated from her peril by the men of the cutter, who dragged her up on the rock. The five rescued sailors were bundled into her and taken to the Woodbury. They had been on the rock for forty hours, without shelter or food. The schooner had her sails blown away in a gale on January 11th, and had struck on the outer reef that night. Her bottom dropped out of her almost at the moment of impact. Her crew escaped from her by climbing up the foremast, which fell against the rock.

    The wreck of the wooden passenger steamship Metis, off Watch Hill, in Long Island Sound, on August 30, 1872, gave the officers and crew of the cutter Moccasin an opportunity to display their courage and seamanship. The Metis was bound from New York to Providence, with one hundred and four passengers and a crew of fifty-two persons. She left New York on the afternoon of August 29th. A summer gale from the southeast, permeated with a driving rain, had churned the waters into a fury that would have been regarded dangerous even by deep-water navigators. The little, lime-laden schooner Nettie Cushing was making her way down the Sound under short-ened sail, bound for New York. The two vessels met off Watch Hill. A mist had succeeded the rain, and the men on neither craft saw the other until collision was inevitable. The bowsprit of the schooner rammed a hole in the steamer's port side, a few feet forward of the line of the pilot-house. The vibration of the ship was so slight that not more than a dozen passengers were awakened. Captain Charles L. Burton, the Metis's commander, was not aware of the extent of her injury, as the men sent into the hold reported that she was not hurt below the water-line. The schooner, without bowsprit and head-gear, vanished astern in the darkness.

    The Metis was stopped for a moment, and her officers made an effort to find out the fate of the schooner. They concluded that she had gone down, and the Metis went on her course. Half an hour later the chief engineer reported that the vessel was making water rapidly, and that it would be a question of only a few minutes before the fires would be extinguished. The stewards were ordered to wake the passengers. This was done by smashing in the stateroom windows. Nearly all hands had time to partially dress and get life-preservers. The women and children crowded in the cabin. The steamer was headed for the beach, but when she was within five miles of it she gave a lurch and went down, bow first, carrying thirty or forty people into the vortex. Three life-boats were launched. One was smashed against the steamer's side. The others floated away, filled, as frequently happens on such occasions, largely with men. About fifty persons were on the hurricane-deck, which became detached from the hull as the steamer sank, and drifted off.

    The Moccasin was at Stonington, a few miles away. She received news of the tragedy from Watch Hill, where hundreds of summer residents had gathered, watching through glasses, and with the naked eye, the struggles of the shipwrecked ones. A northeast gale had succeeded the rain-laden southeaster, creating a high cross-sea, which broke over the Moccasin's bows as she plunged toward the scene of the wreck. The hazardous work of lowering the boats was accomplished without accident by the cutter's skilful and nervy men. No vestige of the steamer's hull was visible, but the water was strewn with her top hamper. The upper deck had broken to pieces, and clinging to them were half a hundred persons, more dead than alive. The Moccasin's two boats picked up twenty-six who were alive, or in such a condition that they could be resuscitated. They also recovered fourteen bodies.

    On a bitter day in January, 1889, the lookouts on the cutter Dallas, which was cruising along the Maine coast, saw protruding above the land vapor of Outer Green Island the topmasts of a vessel. It was thought at first on the cutter that the craft to which the masts belonged was under way. One of the officers made a more careful examination of the masts, and noted that they were leaning toward the wind. But for this discovery the unseen and luckless stranger might have been passed. The Dallas was steered toward the island. Gradually, as she approached, the hull of the vessel materialized from the mist. She was a large Gloucester fishing schooner, the Melissa D. Robbins. Her crew of eighteen men were seen gathered on the shore of the desolate isle, deliriously waving their arms and shouting for help. The surf-boat was lowered and the fishermen were rescued. They told the story of the wreck to their saviors. Their vessel was returning from a protracted cruise with a fine catch, bound for Portland. The skipper lost his hearings in a dense snow-storm, during a howling gale, and came to grief on the rocky shore of Outer Green Island. Her sails were blown away the instant she struck, and within a few minutes her stern- and rudder-posts were pounded out of her. The high surf dashed in snowy masses across her decks. It seemed as if she would soon go to pieces, and the crew got some of the dories ready to launch. Several of them were crushed alongside, and the crew gave up hope of leaving the schooner. The gale moderated and the tide went down at dawn, and they saw the shore within easy reach. They made it without difficulty, but were little better off than they were on the schooner. All their provisions had been ruined, and as there was no shelter on the island, and the mainland was many miles away, their chance of being saved seemed somewhat gloomy. The day succeeding their rescue by the Dallas was one of the severest of the winter, and they would have perished but for the timely appearance of the cutter.

    In February, 1890, the Dallas sighted the British schooner Glen, ashore on one of the Duck Islands, small, desolate and remote from the Maine coast. She had been there a day, but was in no immediate danger of going to pieces. The Dallas bore down on her, took off her captain, and, at his request, left the crew on the island to save what they could of the cargo. The captain intended to return to the wreck the next day. A violent gale, accompanied by snow, arose during the night and continued for twenty-four hours. While the storm was raging, attempting to rescue the Glen's crew was out of the question, as the cutter could not live in the great seas combed up by the gale. The snow ceased falling on the morning of the second day, and, although the sea was still high and the wind fiercely blowing, the Dallas determined to make an effort to reach the shipwrecked men on the dreary, storm-beaten island. She bounded up and down the green declivities, whose wind-torn summits fell on her decks and dashed in spray against her spars and rigging, making her look like the mere spectre of herself. She signalled to the poor fellows gathered on the beach that they would be saved as early as possible. There was no boat aboard the cutter fit to send ashore through the tremendous surf, and she steamed to Cranberry Island and brought back the surf-boat and the crew of the lifesaving station. The shipwrecked men were found huddled under an old sail. Some of them were so much exhausted that they were unable to move, and were carried to the surf-boat, from which they were hoisted over the side of the cutter. Those who were able to walk were landed at South West Harbor. The others were taken to the Marine Hospital at Portland.

    The perilous work of the cruising cutters is ably supplemented by that of the little harbor propellers of the Revenue Service. This is especially true of the trio of vessels stationed at New York, the Manhattan, the Washington, and the Chandler. The Manhattan is assigned to what is designated anchorage duty; that is, she keeps the channels of the East and North Rivers and the Bay clear of vessels, compelling them to anchor within the limit of the anchorage grounds laid down by the Government. Many collisions are thus prevented. She tows becalmed sailing craft out of the fairway, and makes steamers get out unassisted if they have steam up. Incidentally she does whatever life-saving may come in her way on her daily inside cruising. She has more than once gone to the relief of crews endangered by collisions in the Bay and rivers.

    A notable incident in the history of the cutter Chandler (until recently commanded by Captain H. D. Smith) occurred in the Lower Bay, on March 14, 1891. The Italian bark Umberto Primo, while making port two days before, went ashore in a thick fog on the Dry Romer, a dangerous shoal a few miles northeast of Sandy Hook, where many sturdier craft have met misfortune. A wrecking steamer went down and vainly essayed to haul the bark off. As the weather was mild, the captain and crew decided to stay aboard until the agents of the vessel sent down more help. A strong northwest wind arose on the evening of March 13th, and before dawn of the following day it had developed into a fair-weather gale, stirring the seas into such a ferment that no boat from any of the wrecking tugs that hovered around could have been kept afloat for an instant in them.

    At noon the bark had pounded a hole in her starboard side, and the waves were leaping across her decks. Her crew were gathered on the poop under a sail that partly protected them from the showers of chilling spray that constantly covered the vessel. They made supplicating gestures to the men on the wrecking tugs, which could not go near enough to the shoal to take the Italians off. The life-savers of Sandy Hook saw the plight of the bark's crew, and they telegraphed to the city for the cruising cutter Grant to come down and tow them out to the wreck in their surf-boats, as they could not row there from shore through wind-swept seas. The Grant was not in port, and Captain H. D. Smith, of the Chandler, which is no larger than an ordinary tug, was asked if he would take out the life-boats. He said he would. The Chandler was preparing to lay up for the night at the Battery. Although Chief Engineer Hedden had banked his fires, he had steam up in an hour, and down through the ragged seas the buoyant Chandler plunged toward Sandy Hook, with pilot John Bradley, a veteran of the service, at the wheel. Captain Smith passed the wreck on his way and signalled to the hapless sailors that he would bring them help. Seldom has so small a vessel entered into what is practically the open ocean in such a gale.

    Captain Smith put in toward the Hook, and, learning that the life-boats were around the point, he had the cutter headed that way. She had a tough battle with the seas, which sometimes leaped over her bows and crashed against her pilot-house. It is doubtful whether she would ever have been able to round the point. Fortunately she was not required to do so. The ocean-tug Dalzell had anticipated her, and came out with both the surf-boats in tow. The Chandler accompanied the Dalzell to the wreck and helped to tow the boats to windward. The tide was unusually strong, and this made the work of the life-savers particularly hazardous. Twice the boats were nearly overwhelmed. They reached the bark at last, took off the sailors and put them on the Dalzell, and then boarded the Chandler, which landed them at Sandy Hook.

    When the ferryboat Westfield blew up in her slip at the foot of Whitehall Street, the men of the Chandler and the Washington saved twenty passengers who were blown into the water.

    While in charge of her pilot, John McMath, at a great fire on the North River front, about twenty years ago, the Chandler pulled three ships and several smaller sailing vessels into the stream and saved them from destruction.

    The cutters that cruise in the waters of the polar zone have the hardest experience of any of the Revenue Marine fleet. They are stationed at San Francisco. They pierce the ice-clogged Arctic and the Behring Sea searching for castaways from wrecked whalers, and pursuing violators of the revenue laws and the laws against seal poaching. They tow whalers caught on lee shores to good offings, supply them with medicine, and give the sick and injured medical attention. The Corwin, on her return from her cruise in 1884, brought to San Francisco ninety-eight shipwrecked sailors.

    Lieutenant John E. Lutz, who had been detailed in a whaleboat with two men by Captain Healy, of the Corwin, to look out for illegal sealers on Otter Island, distinguished himself by capturing the German schooner Adele and running her to San Francisco, a distance of 2,300 miles, in twenty-six days. Lieutenant Lutz seized the Adele at one o'clock on the morning of September 1st. He discovered her at anchor off St. Paul Island and boarded her. Gustave Isaacson, her skipper, admitted that she was there for the purpose of sealing. Lieutenant Lutz took possession of all the arms aboard and waited for the men who were ashore killing seals to return. They refused to get the Adele under way or to have anything to do with sailing her. They were ordered to step aside, and while the Lieutenant covered them with his repeating rifle, his own men worked the Adele into harbor.

    The Adele's crew consisted of five white men and eighteen Japanese, and her papers showed that she measured "fifty British tons," and that she was built in Shanghai in 1877. Lieutenant Lutz detained five of the crew on board after the seizure and sent the rest ashore. He then used his prize, manned by a crew of natives, to chase a sealing schooner reported to be in the neighborhood. He gives the story of this chase in his report to Captain M. A. Healy, of the Corwin.

    He says that the stranger "finally hove to when nine or ten miles off shore and waited for me. It was dusk when I drew near her, and her people could not distinguish the revenue flag until I was within one hundred yards of her. I then observed that the vessel's name had been painted out. She immediately filled away and made all sail. My hail was answered by her people, who refused to give the schooner's name, and no attention was paid to the order to heave-to until boarded. I caused two shots to be fired across her bow and two into the upper part of her rigging, hailing her people after every shot and repeating the order for them to heave-to. Muttered imprecations were the only reply until after the fourth shot, when they fired into us. I then directed my men to aim lower, so as to rake the decks of the other vessel. I stopped the fire at intervals to see if she would heave-to. She fired five or six shots into us, which we returned with fifty or sixty rounds. We suffered no damage, and they probably received little or no injury, as they were all under cover. Darkness had set in, the wind freshened, and I finally abandoned the chase. I saw no hope of being able to take the vessel with my small force, or at least of doing it without endangering the one already captured."

    The Adele was unfit to go to sea in. Her timbers were rotten and her rudder was merely hanging by the pintles. Lieutenant Lutz made an effort to run her to Ounalaska, but he was prevented by gales and fogs, and he then decided to risk the voyage to San Francisco. He feared to trust the deck to any of the Japanese, and, as his two white sailors were inexperienced, he was compelled to be up night and day. He kept on his rubber boots during the whole of the perilous trip, and never had a chance to change his wet clothes. The Adele was in such bad condition that her head could not be put to the sea in rough weather, and the Lieutenant was compelled to run her before every heavy gale. Her chronometer was useless, as the record of its error and rate had been destroyed by Captain Isaacson. After delivering his prize to the proper authorities in San Francisco, Lieutenant Lutz broke down and was dangerously ill for a long time.

    An old Indian deerman came aboard the bark Hunter, off Cape Behring, on June 8, 1887, with a piece of cedar board on which was carved a rude inscription, Which Captain M. A. Healy, of the cutter Bear, then cruising in the Arctic, interpreted to be a message from the only survivor of the American whaling bark Napoleon, lost in Behring Sea in 1885. The Bear found the sea-man, J. B. Vincent, and brought him back to civilization. The natives who had taken care of him were rewarded by the captain with all the stores he could spare from the cutter.

    The following unromantic, but impressive, record, compiled under the direction of Captain L. G. Shepard, Chief of the Revenue Marine Service, shows the work of the cruising cutters for the decade ended June 30, 1890:

U.S. Revenue Cutter rescues, 1881-1890



Northern Ships and Shipping