Norwalk, CT Steamboat RICHARD PECK Wreck, Jan 1896


New Haven's Flyer in Difficulty Near South Norwalk.


Slight Accident to the Vessel This Morning---It Is Thought That She Collided With a Submerged Wreck in the Sound---The Damage Consists of Injury to Her Steel Plates and the Loss of Some of the Flukes of a Propeller---Now on the Dry Dock.

New York,  Jan. 9.----The new twinscrew steel steamboat Richard Peck, which piles between New York and New Haven, at 3 o'clock this morning, struck a sunken wreck while steering the course she daily follows.

The steamboat left Belle Dock New Haven, with 150 passengers and a general cargo. When about four miles off shore and with Penfield to leeward, she struck the obstruction, tearing a great hole in her steel hull amidship and just forward of her boilers. Capt. Hardy acted promptly. 

The pumps were put to work, the boats were prepared for launching, and the vessel's head was turned toward Norwalk Island.

The extent of the damage was not known, but as the water poured in in great volume, it was feared she would founder [sic] if not beached.  Under a full head of steam, and with her crew at their emergency stations, the vessel was pushed for Norwalk Island, reducing her speed as she approached the shore.  Then her engines were stopped and under her own headway she ran her nose up on the soft beach and blew signals of distress.  The impact with the sunken wreck had not awakened the passengers, and it was not until she was beached that they were notified of the threatening danger.

A boat was lowered and the chief officer and chief engineer were rowed around the hull, but could not see the hole.  Capt. Hardy ordered some cargo jettisoned, and thus lightened, the Peck was again floated and proceeded on her trip to this city.  She arrived at Peck Slip at 8 o'clock instead of 6, her scheduled time.  After her passengers disembarked and the cargo had been laid on the dock, the boat was taken to the foot of Pike Street and there placed on dry dock.

But few of her 150 passengers knew that anything unusual had happened and there was no alarm. Capt. Hardy's prompt action after the accident happened prevented any excitement among the crew or those of the passengers who were aroused.  It is probable that the steamer Continental will take the place of the Peck until repairs are made.  The C. H. Northam of the same line is hardly in shape to go on right away, but the Continental is in good shape.This is the first accident of any consequence that the Peck had met with since she has been on the line and the officials of the company say that this is just as liable to happen in the day time as at night.

On examination it was found that the collision had made a hole 15 feet long and five feet wide in the steamer's hull.

The New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, CT 9 Jan 1896