Off Currituck Beach, NC Steamer METROPOLIS Disaster, Jan 1878
A TERRIBLE LOSS OF LIFE.
WRECK OF STEAMER METROPOLIS.
ANOTHER GREAT DISASTER NEAR THE KITTY HAWK SIGNAL STATION -- THE METROPOLIS DRIVEN ASHORE IN GALE -- NEARLY TWO HUNDRED LIVES BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN LOST -- NO ASSISTANCE RENDERED BY THE LIFE SAVING CREW.
At an early hour last evening, news was received at Wasington from the Kitty Hawk Signal Station, that the steamer METROPOLIS had gone ashore off Currituck Beach, on the North Carolina Coast, and that between 150 and 200 lives had been lost. Fifty persons are said to have been washed ashore, but with these exceptions it is though that all of the 248 persons on board were drowned. The accounts from the wreck thus far are meagre, owing to the remoteness of the place where it occurred.
DETAILS OF THE DISASTER.
Special Dispatch to the New York Times.
Norfolk, Va., Jan. 31. -- During the south-east gale this afternoon the steamship METROPOLIS, of New York, from Philadelphia for Para, South America, with stores and laborers on board, grounded on the outer bar off Currituck Beach, about three miles south of the light, and 10 miles north of Kitty Hawk Signal Station. She at once bilged and floated broadside to the sea. FIfty of the passengers and crew got on shore, and the rest, about 150 in number, were lost, no assistance being rendered from the shore, from life stations, or fishermen.
Capt. TRUXTON, of the Navy yard here, and Capt. PICKUP, of the towing company, received information of the disaster, whereupon the tug Choatan was coaled up, and will leave for the wreck via Albemarle Sound. The scene of the wreck is about 20 miles north of where the Huron was lost. As yet the news is vague as to the number lost, but only 50 have reached shore. The authorities in Washington have ordered an operator to a place near the scene of wreck.
Ten P. M. -- One of the men saved states that all last night the vessel encountered heavy weather, with a strong gale from south-east. About 6:30 this evening the ship struck, when all was confusion on board, the sea making a complete breach over the vessel, washing the passengers and crew into the seething foam. Amid the howling of the tempest and the roaring of the surf, the orders of the officers could not be heard. When the vessel struck, several of her boats were swept from the decks. Those who reached the shore, managed to do so by holding on to pieces of the wreck. Efforts are being made by the signal observer to get the names of the survivors. The tug Croaton, Capt. PICKUP, leaves here for the scene at 11 o'clock. It is learned from another source that when the vessel struck she was heading south-south-east. The wind was blowing a perfect hurricane, and she using all the power her machinery afforded to keep her head to wind.
No assistance was given to the wreck by the signal stations or by the life saving crew in the vicinity. As soon as connection is made with the scene other and more important details will be send. The Navy Department has ordered assistance sent to the wreck, but what it will be no one can learn, as the Government has no steamer here capable of rendering any service at present.
Feb. 1 -- One A. M. -- The chief officer of the METROPOLIS was among the saved, and set the message to the signal operator at Kitty Hawk. The vessel went ashore this morning. The Captain has not been seen or heard of since the vessel struck.
The New York Times New York 1878-02-01