Long Island Sound, CT Steamers PLYMOUTH and CITY OF TAUNTON Collide, Mar 1903
SIX PEOPLE ARE KILLED IN A COLLISION.
BIG PASSENGER STEAMERS CRASH INTO EACH OTHER.
COLLIDED IN A DENSE FOG.
STEAMSHIP PLYMOUTH IS STRUCK BY CITY OF TAUNTON.
MORE THAN SEVEN HUNDRED PERSONS ON THE VESSELS BUT NO PANIC ENSUED.
New London, Conn., March 20. -- Traveling at a moderate rate of speed through Long Island Sound early this morning, the big passenger steamer Plymouth of the Fall River Line bound for Fall River from New York, and the freight steamer City of Taunton, of the same line, came into collision in the fog just east of Plum Island, the bow of the freight steamer wrecking the starboard side of the Plymouth and causing the death of six persons on board the Plymouth and the injury of a number of others.
JOHN McCARTHY, watchman, head cut off.
SNOW COLEMAN, negro, pantryman, drowned.
JULIUS DAWSON, negro, messman, drowned.
JOHN BRISTOL, negro, waiter, drowned.
JOHN WILLIAM, negro, baker, drowned.
GEORGE H. MARSTON, passenger, Paterson, N.J.
PATRICK DALE, coal trimmer, New York, arm cut off.
MICHAEL KILDUFF, passenger, Boston, right foot cut off.
MR. SAMUELSON, scratched about face and bruised about the body.
JONATHAN THOMPSON of Wilkes-Barre, one of the dead, was identified by papers found in his clothes. He was about 50 years old.
A full hundred feet of the starboard side of the vessel was smashed in as if it had been paper, the staterooms of the second cabin were entirely cut away, while down in the hold most of the crew who were asleep in the steerage were drowned by the torrent that poured through the great gap made by the bow of the freighter.
Although greatly terrified, the people aboard the stricken ship showed great self control, and there was no panic. The collision occurred after the vessel had slowly made her way over the Sound through the fog until she reached a point east of Gull Island. The City of Taunton drove up out of the fog, and when she was sighted by the Plymouth was too close to avoid the collision.
There was a quick exchange of signals and then the crash. The bow of the City of Taunton penetrated ten feet into the hull of the Plymouth, and as she backed away she raked the upper works of the approaching vessel, tearing out the second cabin and ripping the staterooms to pieces. Water poured into the hold and drowned the men in their bunks.
The Plymouth was immediately headed for this city. It was thought at one time that the ship's company would have to take to the boats, but the closing of the collision bulkheads prevented the water from gaining and the vessel made the harbor and wharf unassisted.
There was no way of telling immediately how many perished. Six are dead certainly, and in the mass of debris from the wrecked cabin and staterooms there may be several more bodies, while in the steerage it is thought there are bodies of others drowned besides those reported.