Posts Tagged ‘Capt. Beecher’

Child Overboard: A Dip in the Waves and a Roll in the Salt

May 19, 2009


From the New Haven Herald Aug. 10.

NOBLE ACT. — As the Huntress packet, captain Beecher, was returning from New York last week, a child of Mr. Hoyle*, by some unlucky accident, fell overboard. The wind blew fresh, and the unhappy parents beheld in agony their only son on the brink of eternity, without one ray of hope that he could be rescued. In this distressing moment, while the vessel was passing rapidly through the water, the helmsman Joseph Stevens, sprang from the quarter deck, committed himself to the waves, with the noble resolution of saving the infant or perishing in the attempt. He seized the child as it was sinking, and held him above water to convince the wretched parents that he was still alive.

The packet by this time had left them about half a mile, and was with much difficulty rounded to. Captain Beecher immediately manned his boat and pushed to their assistance. — Just as he reached them, poor Joe’s strength was exhausted, and he sunk, leaving the child to its fate. Capt. Beecher, with great presence of mind, as he seized the child with one hand, plunged the other under water to the arm-pit, and luckily succeeded in raising the sailor. Both Joe and the child were apparently dead. —- After rolling them in salt, and applying all the restoratives which are usually employed on such occasions, they both revived, and we are happy to state are doing well. The rich may boast of their charity, and princes their nobility; but never did any rich man perform a more disinterested act of benevolence — never did any prince achieve a more honorable one, than did this poor sailor, in restoring to the arms of its parents their only child, by snatching it from the grasp of death, at the risk of his own life.
* Mr. Hoyle is recently from Notingham, England.

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Aug 25, 1819

Fortunately, this near tragedy had a happy ending.