Block Island, RI Schooner MARY ADELAIDE RANDALL Wreck, Dec 1911


Life Savers at Block Island Bring Ashore Crew of the Randall.

BLOCK ISLAND, R. I. Dec. 28.---The four-masted schooner Mary Adelaide Randall of Port Jefferson, N. Y., coal laden, was cast upon the ledges west of Block Island by a terrific northwesterly gale early to-day, and four hours later ten men of the crew were rescued by the Block Island life savers.

The rescue was accomplished only after the life saving crew had tried repeatedly to reach the stranded craft. The Randall was bound from Norfolk for New London, Conn.

The 4 A. M. patrol of the Block Island station had just started out on his beat when he discerned the outlines of a schooner driving toward the west beach. He burned his signal light and called up the station, but before the life savers reached the scene the schooner had struck the ledges and was being ground to pieces. The vessel was carried to within a quarter of a mile of the beach, when she filled and sank. Her position was so uncertain and the gale so strong that the life savers had to wait until daylight before beginning operations. In the meantime, the New Shoreham and Sandy Point crews were summoned, and many townspeople joined the band of watchers.

Each time the life savers attempted to jam the boat through the surf the seas hurled it back and scattered the crew along the beach.

Then the gun and line were brought up, but the heaviest charge failed to send the shot more than half way to the wreck. Shortly after 9 o'clock the life savers neared the wreck, and after several attempts reached the side of the schooner, and the crew dropped one by one into the boat and were landed on the beach. The vessel is probably a total loss.

The New York Times, New York, NY 29 Dec 1911


Schooner Mary A. Randall

Dear Linda-

I enjoyed the article greatly. Sometime back around 1980, my grandfather sold his house and property on Block Island. For years growing up on the island in the summer months, I played cards with him on his sun porch and I always noticed this old ship captains desk which was in need of repair. He gave the desk to my mother who had it restored while they lived in Middletown, RI. The desk came from an old Block Islander named Frank White who was on the Island life savers. Mr. White and his wife had a farm on the North end of Block Island near Sachem Pond.The desk was a gift to Mr. White from the Captain because of his help saving the crew and salvaging what ever they could. The desk came from the Mary A. Randall. If you would like a picture, send me your email to my address above and I will forward you a picture of the desk. If you have a picture of the ship you could share, I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely, Jeffrey Crawford

Wreck of the Randall

Thank you, Linda Horton, for posting this story. I am the great-niece of Mary Adelaide Randall and an oil painting of this magnificent schooner hangs in my home. It was quite moving to read the story of the loss.