MISLED BY THE HARBOR LIGHTS.
Loss of the Schooner Richardson on the West Pier at 8 o'clock this Morning.
The schooner Richardson, Capt. William McKee, of Kingston, with a cargo of barley, 9,190 bushels, consigned to Failing & Pratt of this city, struck the west pier this morning and almost instantly went to pieces, and with her cargo is totally lost.
Capt. McKee's Statement
Capt. McKee says he left Kingston at 8 o'clock last evening, wind NW., fresh and light at 1:30 A.M. and at 8 A.M. drew near the harbor and saw two bright lights beside the red light and the other on the west pier. The first two lights he supposed to be on the new east break water crib work. He tried to get between two light, one of which he supposed to be on the west pier and the other on the new crib work, but which he now feels satisfied were a light on the west pier and another on shore. In trying to get between these, thinking he was entering the harbor, he ran head on to the west pier, about opposite West 4th street.
The sea was breaking over the pier so that it was buried out of sight. The vessel swung around, heading westward and while she pounded and drifted about 500 feet westerly the crew, consisting of six men and the woman cook, managed to jump on the pier and were taken off by the tug F.D. Wheeler, Capt. C. W. Ferris, which ran into the new harbor for that purpose. The captain and crew lost every stitch of clothing and what little money they had besides the vessel's papers. While the crew were leaving the vessel her spars went out and she soon went to pieces.
The Richardson was owned two-thirds by J. Richardson and one-third by Capt. McKee, both of Kingston. She was insured for $2,000. Registered as follows: Tonnage 162; built at Kingston by Robinson & Co. In April, 1866, hailed from Kingston, valued at $4,000, classed B 1; repaired in '73 and '78.
Misled by the Light
Captain McKee says there was no light on the cribwork and that was the cause of his trouble. Capt. D. O'Hagan of the schr. Nellie Theresa came in just ahead of the Richardson. She had barley from Wellington for Smith, Murdock & Co. The captain says he tried to get between the same two lights that Capt. McKee mistook, but he discovered just in the nick of time that one was a shore light and found the entrance to the harbor, which he made with great difficulty. He was nearly driven on to the cribwork and when on her broadsides, going at the rate of ten miles an hour, he says, he was picked up by the tug Wheeler. His stove was wrecked, furniture piled promiscuously about the cabin and his cargo shifted. He says there was no light on the cribwork. Both captains speak highly of Capt. Ferris for his promptness last night, and with all the captains in port today, are loud in their denunciations of the neglect to keep lights on the new cribwork.
Mr. Richardson, part owner of the vessel, who is in town, left before the vessel sailed, but gave orders to insure the cargo, which he supposes was done. It was of the value of about $10,000.
Explanation About The Lights
The engineer office explains that the lights on the crib went out at 2 A.M. The fact was promptly reported by the watchman, but it was impossible to reach the crib with a small boat. An effort was made to get the night tug, which was unsuccessful, as she was busy attending to vessels. The office doubts whether the crib could have been reached in any manner.