Cape Sable, NS Steamer HUNGARIAN Wreck, Mar 1860


The agents of the steamship Hungarian, wrecked on Cape Sable, gives the whole number of persons on board as having been 205, viz: crew, eighty; cabin passengers, forty-five; steerage passengers, eighty. As everything concerning this doomed ship must be of interest, we give the following, showing that the foundering of the vessel was witnessed by two brothers named NICKERSON. So far as is known, there is not a single survivor of all who were on board. The only living witnesses of her fate are three brothers, whose observations are thus recorded by the Yarmouth (Nova Scotia) Tribune:
At three o'clock, a man named BARRY NICKERSON, residing on Cape Sable, described exactly in the direction of the reef known as
"Horse Race," what he took to be the lights of a steamer. These lights when first seen were stationary, and remained immovably in the same position for more than half an hour, then they appeared to move very swiftly in a north-westerly directioin, and, in course of ten or fifteen minutes became once more stationary. MR. HENRY NICKERSON, who resides on Fish Island, states that he first saw the light in the position which the wreck now occupies, at four o'clock, and comprehending that some unknown vessel was in distress, aroused his son and his neighbor, crossed in a fishing skiff the inlet which divides the island from Cape Sable, and, in the hope of attracting the attention of the crew, exhibited a lighted lantern from the highest point of land that could be found.
The lights of the unknown vessel continued to be visible until daybreak, when they disappeared probably in consequence of the fall of the mast to which they were attached. As day dawned the hull of a large steamship was discernible on the
"Great Rip," a dangerous ledge about two miles south-west of Cape Sable, the fore mast gone, mizzenmast and smoke pipe only standing , and the sea making a constant breach over the ship. The rigging of the mainmast had the appearance, according to the statement of our informants, of being crowded with human beings to the number of between fifty and sixty -- a supposition we see no reason to discredit. About half an hour after sunrise, the mainmast was seen to go overboard, the smoke pipe disappeared soon afterward, and the mizzenmast followed about 10 a.m. The spectacle is described by those who witnessed it as one of terrific grandeur -- the sea was white with breakers, the doomed ship rolling heavily as surge after surge broke against her iron sides, the spray dashing in volumes to the height of her mast head, and the billows pouring in ceaseless cataracts over her decks. The violence of the sea during the morning and the early part of the day was so great that no attempt could be made to approach the ship. Not even a lifeboat, it is affirmed, could have been got with safety through the breakers which environed the coast.

Manitowoc Pilot Wisconsin 1860-03-30