Monday, September 24, 2007

Recent Sea Rescues Thrill the Country

Feb 1920

Unsung Heroes Save Many Lives in Atlantic Storm

NEW YORK, N. Y., — The terrific storms of the last few weeks along the Atlantic seacoast have brought to light the fact that heroism is far more common than it used to be prior to the recent war. The scores of thrilling rescues made from wrecked ships show that men of the present day will risk their lives for a good cause with much less hesitation than before they became used to the experience while combating the enemy on sea and land.

Took a Desperate Chance

One little boat took a desperate chance in its successful attempt to rescue the passengers of a stranded schooner. With the ocean whipped by a gale which made mountainous waves, a little boat, manned by men who had seen service with the U. S. Navy submarine chasers, put out from a New Jersey port with almost certain odds again them weathering the heavy seas.

Their frail craft tossed about on the stormy waters like an eggshell, they finally made it to within grappling distance of the beleaguered boat. Then their real troubles began. When they approached close to the ship the rescuing boat was likely to be dashed against it by the waves and crushed to oblivion.

"It may or may not have been a miracle," declares Jack Fromme, one of the heroes who helped save the forty passengers, "but we were not crushed. We took the people off the boat and, though we had a hard time, made it to shore with them."

Many Acts of Bravery

The terrible devastation done along the Atlantic Coast also brought forth many acts of extreme heroism. In one case the wife of a fisherman found that her husband was several miles out at sea, having been suddenly caught in the terrific storm. She put out in a small rowboat, without the least idea of the direction taken by her mate, and by a miracle of intuition went directly to the spot where he was laying in the bottom of his boat exhausted, after having been tossed about for hours by the angry waters. She pulled up alongside, pulled him into her boat and made the terrible trip back. When she got to the threshold of their humble cottage she fainted.

At Seabright, N. J., a couple were swept out to sea in tile bungalow, which had been suddenly carried away by the storm. Hundreds volunteered to make the rescue. Only a few were selected, and they dared the waves and saved the man and wife just as the waters were tearing the flimsy bungalow to pieces.

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