The loss of the schooner Wyer G. Sargent (MAR.2)
Scan and transcription of an article from an unknown source re. the “career of the derelict schooner Wyer G. Sargent.”
This circa 1891 article, and its transcription, describe the loss of the schooner Wyer G. Sargent which was built and launched in Sedgwick in 1881. The ship was 325 tons, length 131 feet, breadth 32 feet, and depth 11 feet. The owners were Frederick A. Gower, Brookline, Mass., and Wyer G. Sargent, et al, Sedgwick. Ship Master, William Gower.1
In Wyer G. Sargent’s journal he writes, “May 29, 1890 Had an offer for the W.G. Sargent of $14,000 when she arrives in New York “if in fairly good condition”. The offer was accepted by wire. May 31, 1890 The “W.G. Sargent” sold in New York for $14,000.” What luck! Wyer sold it before it was lost at sea.
DRIFTED SIX YEARS
The Remarkable Career of the Derelict Schooner Wyer G. Sargent
After a career unparalleled in the history of maritime affairs, the derelict schooner Wyer G. Sargent, abandoned at sea March 31, 1891, in latitude 34.42, longitude 74.40, while bound for Philadelphia with a cargo of lumber—her crew being rescued by the schooner H. E. Thompson, after battling with the storms of the Atlantic for nearly six years, has drifted ashore on the uninhabited island of Conception, one of the most dangerous of the Bahamas, and there will end her days. She is shattered and covered with barnacles. Her cargo of lumber has long ago been emptied into the sea through her capsizing, but her stout hull is still held together as firmly as on the day on which she was launched at Sedgwick, Maine in 1881.
This most remarkable career just ended has for years past attracted the attention of shipping men all over the world, as her erratic courses about the Atlantic were for months most accurately plotted on the pilot charts issued by the hydrographic department at Washington. Her drift was indeed more singular than that of the famous old schooner W.L. White, which, although abandoned in the same locality, drifted ashore ten months afterwards at the Hebrides islands, off the northwest coast of Scotland.
The Sargent in about three months from the date of her abandonment, reached the center of the north Atlantic. Here she drifted about in a most peculiar and erratic manner for some time until October 12, 1892, when she got into the Sargasso sea and experienced ship masters do not doubt that in this sea she remained until carried out of its influence by unusually fierce easterly gales this last winter.
The theory is that the Sargent, after being freed from the Sargasso sea, came down to southward and westward with the trade winds and currents, as did several other derelicts.
The Sargent was 309 tons register and was built in Sedgwick, Me., 16 years ago. She was 131 feet long, 31 ¾ feet beam and 11 ½ feet deep. Her cargo consisted of about 350,000 feet of lumber.
1 Wasson, George S., Sailing Days on the Penobscot, Marine Research Society, Salem, Mass., 1932, page 406.