Block Island, Rhode Island Larchmont
DEATH LIST NOW 138
Bodies of 73 Sound Disaster Victims Recovered.
ALL SURVIVORS INJURED
One Is Insane and Limbs of Some May be
Survivor of Larchmont Charges Captain and
Crew with Cowardice in Deserting
Ship While Many Helpless Passengers Were on
Board - Company's President
Absolves Crew, Praises Their Courage, And
Asserts Schooner Was to Blame
Identified dead 38
Unidentified dead and missing 100
Total on board the ship 157
Providence, R. I. Feb 14. - A careful
compilation of figures in this city early to-day
shows that 138 lives are known to have been lost
as a result of the collision Monday night
between the Joy Line steamer Larchmont
and the schooner Harry Knowlton.
It is known that there were not less than 157
persons on board the steamer. Of that number
only nineteen survived. Seventy-tree bodies have
been recovered, thirty-eight bodies have been
recovered, thirty-eight of them having been
identified. There are still 100 passengers who
are either missing or unidentified.
Funeral Ship Arrives.
With her flag at half mast, the steamer
Kentucky, of the Joy Line, reached this city at
6 o'clock this evening from Block Island,
bearing eighteen of the survivors of the steamer
Larchmont, which went down in Block
Island Sound night before last, and forty-nine
bodies of the victims of the disaster. One
survivor of the wreck,
Miss Sadie Galup, of Boston, was left
on Block Island. There was one body left there
when the Kentucky sailed from there this
afternoon, but later fishing boats brought to
the island twenty-two more bodies, making the
total list of known dead not stand at
seventy-three. Of the total number of persons
aboard the steamer it is now almost certain that
only nineteen have been saved, and of those only
two are women.
All day fishing boats and tugs have scoured
Block Island Sound in the hope that a boat or
raft might be discovered that might contain some
sign of life.
No Survivors Found
They failed to find anything but bodies to bear
back to Block Island. Only a few bodies were
washed ashore on the island during the day.
After the tide turned the natural course for
them would have been out to sea. It is therefore
doubtful whether many more bodies will be
recovered, and in all probability it will never
be know how many lost their lives in this
Terrible tales of suffering were brought here
to-night [sic] by some of the survivors, and one
of the passengers asserted that in that awful
hour of peril helpless women were thrust aside
by men who cared only for their own safety. The
charge of cowardice was make by
an eighteen-year-old lad of Brooklyn, N.
Y. He said that not only were women left to
their fate, but that
Capt. McVey left the sinking ship in
the very first lifeboat, that some of the ship's
employes [sic] filled the boats to the exclusion
of the passengers, and that at least one boat
was without oars when it was put over the side.
Tells Another Version.
a negro waiter on the Larchmont, gave a
version of the departure of the captain's boat
which was entirely different from that given by
He said that when re reached the captain's boat,
to which he was assigned, he found
there. The captain ordered that the boat be
swung outboard, ready to lower, calling to the
passengers at the same time to step into the
boat The passengers, MacFarland said, seemed
afraid to do so, and as the steamer was going
down fast, Capt McVey ordered that the boat be
lowered. When it reached the water, however, a
rope, fastened to the ring bolt and attached to
the davit above, became caught, and those in the
boat were in danger of being dragged down with
the steamer, when
Boatswain Andrew Tobesen, who was on
the deck, saved their lives by cutting the rope.
Hiergesell's statement was confirmed by other
survivors of the terrible tradedy, but,
notwithstanding the fact that there was none to
corrobarate him, he held steadfastly to his
Official Blames Schooner.
issued a statement to-night [sic], in which he
"The schooner was responsible for the collision.
The officers and crew of the Larchmont
are not to blame in any way. In view of the
horrible conditions which prevailed immediately
after the accident, I am satisfied the men did
all in their power to meet the situation as
conscientious and honorable men. It appears from
my investigation that the schooner luffed right
into the Larchmont and caused the
accident which resulted in such great loss of
"The fact that the steamer sank so soon after
the crash; the fact that so many were unable to
reach the boats even after they were put out,
is, to my mind, sufficient proof that the crew
acted bravely and did all it its power to aid
the passengers who were able to reach the deck."
Saw Both Sides' Lights.
The story brought in by the Kentucky to-night
[sic] was a story of tradedy such as is
difficult for the imagination to picture as
occurring in a comparatively narrow strait,
through which vessels are constantly passing.
The light from Block Island and from the Rhode
Island mainland were visible when the ship went
down, carrying with her many of the passengers
undoubtedly. The same light could be seen by the
others who had managed to get into the boats,
only to succumb in the icy sea.
So quickly did the vessel go down that there was
no time for a single signal of distress to be
given which might have told the life-savers on
both shores of the tragedy that was happening so
near to them.
The survivors who reached here told stories of
what happened aboard after the ship received her
death blow from the schooner, that make the
picture even a more terrible one. Men, women,
and children, it appears, fought to get up the
stairs from the main deck to the hurricane deck,
where the boats and rafts were. Some had to give
it up, apparently. One of the survivors, failing
to get up by the stairway, where men were
fighting for their lives, succeeded in climbing
through a port hole and up on the outside of the
steamer. How many failed to get up the stairs
and reach the deck before the ship went down
will never be known. All of the stories agree
that the boat sank not more than ten minutes
after the collision. This was about six minutes
after the captain's boat had left the ship.
Went Down Stern First
According to Purser
Young, who was on this boat, the ship
seemed to go down stern first. As her light
disappeared beneath the waves, those in the boat
heard heart-rending cries coming from her that
told of the awful struggle for life that was
going on. They saw no other boats, though a few
apparently got away from the steamer, only to be
swallowed up in the sea that was running.
Of the nineteen survivors, eight, including the
two women, were rescued from a piece of the
hurrican deck that floated away when the ship
Thirty-five were on this piece of the deck when
it floated away. Seven persons were alive and
the body of another was found on it when the
fishing schooner came alongside just before noon
yesterday. Seven men landed on the island from
the captain's boat, three reached shore in a
second one, a boy swam ashore from a boat that
went down half a mile from the island, and
another picked up on a raft some distance out.
Two Improvised Morgues.
Block Island's two life-saving stations, one at
Sandy Point and the other at New Shoreham, were
turned into morgues and hospitals during the
night, and the dead crowded the living. The
boatroom floors were lined with the dead, each
one frozen as stiff as the boards on which -t
rested. In the living and sleeping rooms the
suffering survivors rested on cots and beds,
racked with the pain of frozen limbs and
shuddering with the recollection of the horror
of their experiences. Many were denied the
merciful unconsciousness of sleep, and
throughout the long, dreary night they tossed
and cried and sobbed, and the howling wind
outside only served to keep fresh in their minds
the terrors of the storm through which they had
fought their way to the island. It is feared
that none of those survivors will remain
unscathed. The frost penetrated too deeply to be
overcome by medical treatment and the surgeon's
knife will be the only salvation of some of the
unfortunates. Some will lose fingers, some
hands, and it is feared some will be obliged to
have limbs amputated.
An enormous crowd had gathered at the Fox Point
wharf when the funeral ship was sighted coming
up the river late this afternoon. Ambulances
from the two hospitals were waiting at the dock
for the survivors and several patrol wagons were
read to receive the corpses. The police were
forced to rope off the pier and allowed only a
few to go down to the ship. Waiting at the lines
were a crowd of weeping men and women. In the
crowd was a group of the members of the
Salvation Army. They had come to see if they
could find among the bodies any of their
comrades who sailed for New York on the ship the
night before last. They seemed overcome with
grief. None of the bodies were in coffins. As
soon as they had been placed in coffins they
were hurried to Monahan's morgue.
Ice Covered All Bodies.
All of the bodies were frozen stiff and
incrusted with ice. In many cases the arms were
raised as if the ice had incased them while they
were in the very act of fighting the fate that
was in store for them. Of the bodies which had
been recovered when the Kentucky left, only five
were women. There were no children, though there
were some aboard the vessel.
It took some time to prepare the bodies, and the
work of identification at the morgue did not
begin until late this evening.
Providence had been filled all day with
relatives of the missing ones The reason for the
delay in the Kentucky reaching here was due to
the difficulty in getting the survivors and the
bodies on board of her at the island. She could
not get very near the shore owing to the ice,
and consequently the bodies had to be taken out
to her in small boats, as did the survivors.
They had been landed fie miles from where the
boat lay and had to brought the five miles in
Refuses to Go on Ship.
who lives in Boston, refused to allow herself to
be taken aboard the Kentucky, though she
was urged to do so in order that she could get
proper treatment at a hospital here. She is
threatened with pneumonia, and is also
frost-bitten. She is almost crazed from her
experiences and at the idea of going on another
boat she became delirous [sic].
The experiences of Miss Galup and those on the
part of the hurricane deck that floated off when
the ship went down were related by
Mrs. Harris Feldman,
the other woman on this makeshift raft, who was
saved with her husband, both being from New
York, and by David Fox,
of Bridgeton, N. J.
were in a stateroom on the saloon deck when the
crash came and fought their way upstairs to the
hurricane deck where the boats were. Feldman put
his wife in a boat, but many had crowded into
this boat and he found he could not get aboard
himself. He is a big man and an old Black Sea
sailor. Seeing that he and his wife were liable
to be separated, he pulled her out of the boat
just as the ship began to settle and the water
had risen to the deck. They grabbed on to the
deck and suddenly there was a grinding noise and
they found themselves floating on an improvised
raft made up of about half the deck.
Three Rescued; One Dies
Two women and a man were found in the water a
minute later clinging to the raft. They were
hauled aboard, but died almost immediately.
Their bodies froze at once and were washed
overboard. One after another the others on the
craft gave up the fight for life in the cold and
died, an? The swirling seas quickly took their
If it had not been for
Feldman, the two women would have
died. "All night long," said Mr. Feldman, "my
husband kept beating the other woman and myself
to keep the life in our bodies. The he would
seize us and make us walk up and down holding on
to him. There was never a moment that he gave it
up. Most of the others were stiff and sat down
to die, but my husband would not give it up. He
told me that I must keep alive.
could not keep walking, and finally fell down
and lay between two dead men on the raft. We
could not get her up, but my husband kept
beating her all over her body. The waves swept
over us constantly, and we were covered with
ice. Some of the people prayed. We could see the
lights all the time, but not a single boat. We
shouted, but there was no answer. All we could
do was to pray. Finally, when we had almost
given it up, we saw the fishing boat and knew
that we were safe."
When taken aboard the fishing boat, the clothes
of the women were frozen to their bodies, but
Black Sea sailor, had kept the blood moving in
them and had saved their lives.
He Prayed on Raft.
of Bridgeton, J. J., worked with
through the night in this heroic task. He is a
big man, too. He was on his way home from
attending a Bible conference. His stateroom was
stove in by the schooner. He was the man who
gave up the fight to get up the stairs and with
the water rushing to the cabin, through a hole
that was as big as a hogshead, he says he
managed to crawl through a porthole to the deck.
Fox said that through the night he kept walking
on the little raft and helped some of the weaker
ones to do likewise. He prayed out loud that
help might come, and he tried to keep the
courage of the others up. Those rescued from
this raft said they owed to lives to the Black
Sea sailor and the Bible student.
An experience almost as harrowing as that of the
little company on this raft was that of
Heigersell, the only boy that was
saved. He had run away from home, he said. He
reached the hurricane deck and got into a boat
with four other men. They did not get the boat
free from the Larchmont until she went
down. Then all five in the boat tried to row,
but they had little success. Still they kept her
headed for the lights on the island.
Boy Swam to Shore.
Just before they reached the island a wave upset
the boat. Hiegersell
started to swim to the lighthouse. He
says he looked around and the four had
disappeared. He says he swam for fifteen minutes
and finally his feet struck bottom. He saw a
light in a house, and he had just strength
enough to tap on the window. The people in the
house heard it and found him unconscious under
The most complete story of the wreck is told by
He said he was in his office when the two ships
together. He rushed out in the cabin to find
what was the matter and was almost blinded at
once by the steam.
"I met the steward." Said Young, 'and he told me
that the steam pipe had burst. The people were
pouring out into the cabin in their night
clothes. I shouted for every one to get up to
the hurricane deck where the boats were. I could
hear others of the crew shouting the same
Every Man at His Post.
"When I reached that deck I saw members of the
crew at the different boats. I am positive that
every man was at his proper station and that
they did everything they could to care for the
"My place under the rules was in the captain's
boat, which was up near the bow. I found the
captain directing the launching of this boat.
Nearly all of the passengers seemed to be at the
stern. There were only four boats there. The
ship was going down fast. Our boat would have
held ten persons. We got seven in her. The
reason why only two of these were passengers was
because there were no passengers where we were.
We took all that were near us and tried to get
back for more, but there was not any time left.
The steamer had eight life boats and four rafts.
I don't think these were enought [sic] for the
people, but I'm not certain of that.
"It was about six minutes after we launched our
boat that the Larchmont sank. She seemed to
settle by the stern. We saw the light disappear
as she went down and heard cries from the ship.
Then we looked around for other boats. Several
times we thought we saw a boat and rowed toward
it, but each time it turned out to be a wave. It
was trying to row against Niagara [sic]. We
drifted to the island.
Defends Capt. McVey
"Capt. McVay did all a man could have done, I
think, for his passengers, and stayed on the
ship as long as was possible."
The two passengers that were in the captain's
boat seemed to have been the only ones who were
saved with any of the crew. The other survivors
do not know what the crew did, except to tell
them to get on the hurricane deck. From the fact
that most of the crew are missing and
undoubtedly dead, it is believed that they did
attempt to rescue passengers and get the boats
launched; but if they did so, those that they
tried to save appear to have died with them.
The twenty-two additional bodies that were taken
to Block Island after the Kentucky left were
found by four fishing vessels. They arrived at
the island with their flags at half mast,
denoting they had dead aboard. Most of the
bodies has been found floating north of the
Life preservers were found strapped to some of
these bodies. These are the first prson [sic] to
be found with any life preservers, but
apparently very few stopped to put them on in
their rush to reach the upper deck. The bodies
brought in this afternoon were like cakes of
ice. Some of the dead had their hands in the
pockets of their coats.
Her Hands Frozen to Ears.
One woman was found with her hands up to her
ears. She had frozen stiff in that position. The
fishermen reported that the sound was strewn
with the wreckage from the steamer.
of Central Falls, R. I., entered a life boat
with eight other passengers, all men. The boat
had scarcely touched the water when it turned
partially over, throwing all the occupants into
the water. All but Riezukiewitz seemed to have
been frozen to death almost as soon as they were
immersed, for he was unable to find a trace of
them when he came to the surface.
Riezukiewitz swam to the boat and climbed in. He
said he did not remember how he was saved. He
fell out of the boat twice, but each time
clambered back. Finally he dropped into the
water in the bottom of the boat and lost
consciousness. When he awoke he was at Block
Island. He is not partly insane as a result of
his experience. During the trip from Block
Island he created a scene by charging the
officers of the steamer with an attempt to
starve his to death. He was removed to the East
Side Hospital, Providence, in a critical
-------- . BROWN;
Negro waiter, Providence
JAMES B. HARRIS0N, Brooklyn.
JAMES CARROLL, Providence.
ANTONIOI COURTI, Boston..
-------- PAFFER, residence , unknown.
HARRY ECKELS, Block Island.
FRED ELLESBREE, salesman,
NATHAN FLOOD, Son of
(saved), New York.
MOSES FOUNTAINE, waiter residence
-------- HALL, waiter, residence
GEORGE JAMES., chef, residence
Mrs. J. G. JENSON, Providence.
HARRY APPLE, farmer. Block Island.
Mrs. KOREN KORAJIAN, Olneyvllle, R. L
Capt. ELLEN LAMBERT, Salvation Army,
EDWARD LOGAN, second assistant
ERIK NELSON, assistant engineer,
E. B. PITTS, Providence.
GEORGE A. SMITH, watchman, Olneyville,
JOHN J. SCOTT HALLEMAN, Petersburg,
DENNIS THIBAU, a negro, Providence.
JACOB ZADMUS, watchman, Paterson, N.
Mrs. LOUISE SCORGAN, Stewardess,
A Russian fireman, recognized, but name unknown.
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