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Mary F. Curtis

 

April 26, 1913

An Ocean Liner Just Grazed By
Rushed Up On Sch. Mary F. Curtis and Broke Fans Off Log –
Sch.’s Helmsman Did The Right Thing

About as narrow an escape as perhaps they will ever have without being sent to their doom was the thrilling experience of Capt. Henry F. Curtis and crew of sch. Mary F. Curtis, here this morning from a five weeks’ haddocking trip, who relates a thrilling tale of being nearly cut in two by a large ocean liner of Georges recently.

It was midnight on Good Friday that the affair happened which nearly cost the crew their lives besides sending the fine schooner to the bottom. It was very dark at the time and the entire bank was enveloped in a thick fog, with some wind at the time. Joe Ashnold was at the wheel and his dorymate was standing forward on the watch and everything was all right, until suddenly the lights and outline of a big steamer loomed up astern.

The big fellow was not over a thousand feet away and coming right for them. It was a perilous moment for Ashnold and his chum who certainly thought they were doomed and all hands on board with them. Not even a sound from her whistle had been given to give the fisherman a warning and if anything was to be done, it had to be accomplished quickly.

With great presence of mind and equal to the emergency the helmsman threw his wheel down hard to port. The Curtis behaved admirably and responded instantly, but none too soon, for the steamer, a second later plowed through the water at a good clip, barely grazing the little schooner by not over 50 feet.

It was a close call and one that furnished a topic for plenty of discussion during the remainder of the trip. So close did the steamer come that she caught the vessels line and log and carried it several feet breaking off the tips of the latter. The identity of the steamer could not be ascertained, but in the opinion of the captain and crew it was an ocean liner. She was bound westward at the time apparently for port.

 

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