Edward Lowe Snow, the master of New England sea stories, Defenders of Provincetown In February 1964, he asked for information on the descendants of Captain David H. Atkins, whom Snow called “the outstanding lifesaver of the previous generation.”
Snow inexplicably referred to the “shadow” of Atkins’ name, writing that his aim was “to right the wrongs of 80 years.”what happened put forward What was the “mistake” he alluded to in reading Snow’s letter?
Henry and Esther’s son, David Henry Atkins, was born in Provincetown in 1834. In January 1873 Atkins spent his ten years at Peeked Hill Life Saving Station (one of his nine stations on Cape Cod) completed and equipped. He served with the Humanitarian Society (the predecessor of the Life Saving Service), where he was appointed the first Keeper.
On the morning of November 30, 1880, a gale from the north blew across Massachusetts Bay, CE Trumbull, Sloop from Cape Ann. Built in 1870 and of a sturdy design carrying granite flagstones, CE Trumbull, With a crew of six, including the captain, we were ballasted home from New Bedford when stranded in Peaked Hill.
Six crew members from Peaked Hill Station sprang into action, launched a surf boat, rescued four people from the sloop, and landed safely. Upon returning to the sloop to rescue the captain and pilot, the captain and pilot initially refused to leave without their personal items, but the surf boat was capsized by the sloop’s swinging boom, and the crew was killed. Thrown into the raging sea. Three of his life-saving crew managed to swim to shore in the numbing cold, but desperately clinging to the surf boat Captain Atkins, Stephen He Frank, His Mayo, Elisha N. Taylor was washed away. All three bodies were eventually recovered.
When the tide changes and the grip of the sandbar loosens, CE Trumbull, The captain and pilot, who were still on board, were able to levitate her. They fitted new sails at Chatham and returned to Lockport, from where the sloop continued sailing for several years. Provincetown was left with a loss.
Gifford Cemetery in Provincetown features a handsome anchor, a symbol of safety and hope. In memory of David H. AtkinsWhen he read the epitaph, he read that “a devoted husband and father, a good citizen, and sealed in his life fidelity to his duty”, which annoyed Atkins and made him believe that Edward It doesn’t offer any hint of previous events that cast a shadow that Low Snow had. alluded to.
Five years ago, on the morning of March 4, 1875, Giovanni, Heading from Palermo, Italy, to Boston, with a crew of 16 and a cargo of sumac, nuts and brimstone (sulphur), she encountered a raging Nor’easter. In the glare of snow, with the sound of shredding sails, mountainous seas sweeping across the decks and confirmation of shallow waters, all eyes searched for guidance from the Highland Lights. By early afternoon, the crippled ship was stranded at Peaked Hill.
The Crew of Peaked Hill Station under Keeper Atkins and Highland Station crew under Keeper Edwin P. Worthen responded quickly. Given the ferocious conditions, no attempt was made to launch a surfboat. Three attempts to shoot the line from the mortar equipment to the sinking ship failed.Only Giovanni The crew, the stewards, survived the wreck. He pinned himself to a plank and a wave landed him. His 15 others died, a devastating loss of life for early life-saving services.
Anonymous criticism then weighed heavily on Captain Atkins, with newspapers reporting his cowardice, tactical shortcomings, and the worthlessness of his equipment.
Sordid stories circulated that a mob of salvagers had consumed a case of washed-up wine (whether the wine was part of the cargo or part of the ship’s storage could not be determined). A crew member was robbed and his four fatalities (alleged murders) occurred among tow trucks.
A thorough investigation into the tragedy revealed that “every effort to rescue the crew” was made by the life-saving crew and that the ship was “out of reach of life-saving equipment.”
In April 1879, a three-masted schooner Sarah J. Fort Shipwrecked at Peak Hill. For twelve exhausting hours, Atkins’ crew attempted rescue with both surf boats and line-throwing parrot guns, but the rescue of four sailors (two drowned) was assisted by volunteers who had just come from town. only to see it accomplished by the crew of Isaac F. Mayo.
Mayo was later awarded a gold medal for his achievement. Atkins, meanwhile, again felt the sting of criticism for failing to establish line communication with the wreck and use the new model Lyle gun that could have completed the rescue hours earlier.
in the aftermath of CE Trumbull Earlier criticism directed at Atkins made Atkins “willing to take risks, however desperate, in his future career,” according to a Life Saving Service report. concluded in this spirit, “And with this determination he found his duty and met his death.”
A trusted and devoted veteran of the service, Atkins was called upon again and again to face danger before most of the men were debilitated. Knowing the danger, they did not doubt his courage.
in his 1964 book wrath of the sea, Edward Lowe Snow added his voice to theirs and lifted a cloud over Captain David H. Atkins — “Never be allowed to gather around his name or his actions was.”