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 cargo of barley, 9,190 bushels, consigned to Failing & Pratt of the city, struck the west pier this morning and almost instantly want to pieces, and with her cargo is totally lost.
CAPT. MCKEE'S STATEMENT
Capt. McKee says he left Kingston at 8o' clock last evening, wind NW., fresh and a heavy sea running. He made Oswego light at 1:30 AM and at 3 AM drew near the harbor and saw two bright lights besides 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 lights, one of which he supposed to be on the west pier any other on the new crib work, but which he now feels satisfied were a light on the west pier in another on the shore. In trying to get between these, thinking he was entering the harbor, he ran had onto the west pier, about opposite West 4th Street. The sea was breaking over the pier so that was buried out of sight. The vessels 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, class B 1; repaired in ' 73 and ' 78.
MISLED BY THE LIGHT
Capt. McKee says there was no light on the crib work and that was a cause of his trouble. Capt. D. O'Hagan, of the schooner Nellie Theresa came in just ahead of the Richardson. She had barley from Wellington for Smith, Murdock and & Co. The captain says that 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 onto the crib work and one on her broad sides, 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 crib work. Both captains speak highly of Capt. Ferris for his promptness last night, and with all the captains in port today allowed in their denunciations of the neglect to keep lights on the new crib work.
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 light on the crib went out at 2 AM. The fact was promptly reported by the watch man, but 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 officer doubts whether the crib could have been reached in any manner.