A sad tale of the sea, I will unfold,
About Mrs Lingard, that Heroine bold;
Who struggled hard in the midst of the hurricane wild,
To save herself from being drowned, and her darling child.
’Twas on the 8th of September, the Barque “Lynton” sailed for Aspinwall,
And the crew on board, numbered thirteen in all;
And the weather at the time, was really very fine,
On the morning that the ill-fated vessel left the Tyne.
And on the 19th of November, they hove in sight of Aspinwall,
But little did they think there was going to be a squall;
When all on a sudden, the sea came rolling in,
And a sound was heard in the heavens, of a rather peculiar din.
Then the vivid lightning played around them, and the thunder did roar,
And the rain came pouring down, and lashed the barque all o’er;
Then the Captain’s Wife and Children were ordered below,
And every one on board began to run to and fro.
Then the hurricane in all its fury, burst upon them,
And the sea in its madness, washed the deck from stem to stem;
And the rain poured in torrents, and the waves seemed mountains high,
Then all on board the barque, to God for help, did loudly cry.
And still the wind blew furiously, and the darkness was intense,
Which filled the hearts of the crew with great suspense,
Then the ill-fated vessel struck, and began to settle down,
Then the poor creatures cried. God save us, or else we’ll drown!
Then Mrs Lingard snatched to her breast, her darling child,
While loudly roared the thunder, and the hurricane wild;
And she cried, oh! God of heaven, save me and my darling child,
Or else we’ll perish in the hurricane wild.
’Twas then the vessel turned right over, and they were immersed in the sea,
Still the poor souls struggled hard to save their lives, most heroically;
And everyone succeeded in catching hold of the keel garboard streak,
While with cold and fright, their hearts were like to break.
Not a word or a shriek came from Mrs Lingard, the Captain’s wife,
While she pressed her child to her bosom, as dear she loved her life;
Still the water dashed over them again and again,
And about one o’clock, the boy, Hall, began to complain.
Then Mrs Lingard put his cold hands into her bosom,
To warm them because with cold he was almost frozen,
And at the same time clasping her child Hilda to her breast,
While the poor boy Hall closely to her prest.
And there the poor creatures lay huddled together with fear,
And the weary night seemed to them more like a year,
And they saw the natives kindling fires on the shore,
To frighten wild animals away, that had begun to roar.
Still the big waves broke over them, which caused them to exclaim,
Oh! God, do thou save us for we are suffering pain;
But, alas, the prayers they uttered were all in vain,
Because the boy Hall and Jonson were swept from the wreck and never rose again.
Then bit by bit the vessel broke up, and Norberg was swept away,
Which filled the rest of the survivors hearts with great dismay;
But at length the longed for morning dawned at last,
Still with hair streaming in the wind, Mrs Lingard to the wreck held fast.
Then Captain Lingard still held on with Lucy in his arms,
Endeavouring to pacify the child from the storms alarms;
And at last the poor child’s spirits began to sink,
And she cried in pitiful accents, papa! papa! give me a drink.
And in blank amazement the Captain looked all round about,
And he cried Lucy dear I cannot find you a drink I doubt,
Unless my child God sends it to you,
Then he sank crying Lucy, my dear child, and wife, adieu! adieu!
’Twas then a big wave swept Lucy and the Carpenter away,
Which filled Mrs Lingard’s heart with great dismay,
And she cried Mr Jonson my dear husband and child are gone,
But still she held to the wreck while the big waves rolled on.
For about 38 hours they suffered on the wreck,
At length they saw a little boat which seemed like a speck,
Making towards them on the top of a wave,
Buffetting with the billows fearlessly and brave.
And when the boat to them drew near,
Poor souls they gave a feeble cheer,
While the hurricane blew loud and wild,
Yet the crew succeeded in saving Mrs Lingard and her child.
Also, the Steward and two sailors named Christophers and Eversen,
Able-bodied and expert brave seamen.
And they were all taken to a French Doctor’s and attended to,
And they caught the yellow fever, but the Lord brought them through.
And on the 6th of December they embarked on board the ship Moselle,
All in high spirits, and in health very well,
And arrived at Southampton on the 29th of December,
A day which the survivors will long remember.
Many Vessels and Lives Lost
Thirty Persons Drowned During a Terrific Storm at Aspinwall
On the morning of Dec. 2, in Aspinwall, the sky to seaward gave indications of an approaching storm. Steam vessels prepared to let go their moorings and run out to sea if it should become necessary. Masters of the sailing vessels, of which there were a number at anchor in the harbor, let go their spare bow anchors and payed out extra cable in the hope of being able to withstand the storm. Early in the afternoon a heavy swell set in from the open sea and was soon followed by a squall of hurricane force. Then the storm began in earnest. Waves which looked like solid walls of water rolled in from the open sea and swept across the harbor, lifting the smaller vessels upward to a great height and then letting them fall until their keels struck the bottom. The Pacific Mail steamship Acapulco, which was lying at her wharf without any cargo and ballasted only by her coal. cast off her lines at 4:30 P. M. and steamed toward the open sea. As she forced her way through the huge walls of water which swept against her bows and against the furious blast which opposed her, Capt. Shackford could see the sailing craft tugging violently on their cables, while sheets of spray almost hurled their decks from sight. The German mail steamship attempted to put off from her dock. but was driven against the Royal Mail wharf where she lay for about an hour in a very dangerous position. At length by good seamanship the German Captain succeeded in heading his vessel around to the storm and she slowly steamed out into the open sea. The French and Spanish steamers followed.
The French man-of- war Fournel and the sailing vessels were left to stand up against the fury of the storm as best they could. Few people ventured down to the shore. No one dared to send boats to the rescue of the crews of the sailing craft. The latter proved unable to cope successfully with the storm. One by one they were lifted up and dashed against the bottom until they became wrecks. The brig Lynton was dashed against a ledge of rocks. where she caught. The next heavy sea which struck her tore her to pieces. The crew, with the Captain’s wife and two children, got into their boat and attempted to reach the shore. The boat was upset and the occupants were thrown into the water. The Captain and all but two of the sailors were drowned. The Captain’s wife and her two children found themselves struggling in the water beside the upturned keel of the boat. The mother placed her children on the bottom of the boat and with them clung to the keel until they were rescued. She was bruised and almost insensible when she was picked up. A boat’s crew from the French man-of-war Fournel attempted to save the crews of two of the other wrecked sailing vessels, and in these gallant attempts the Chief Engineer and another officer lost their lives. The brig Blanche Ortelan was lost, with all on board. The brig Weaver was lost and all of her crew perished, with the exception of one of her mates, who was ashore when the storm began. The Norwegian bark Karnau was wrecked, and her crew perished with her. The Atwood, Holden, Ariel, Veteran, Ocean, Avelina, Stella, Catalina, Douglas, Tigri, and the American schooners Frank Atwood, Avis. Rio Grande, and Mark Time and several other sailing vessels were also wrecked, with more or less loss of life. As the storm continued all day on Dec. 3 the Acapulco remained at sea. She returned to Aspinwall at noon on Dec. 4, but the sea was still so heavy that Capt. Shackford did not dare to come in to the dock. He accordingly sailed out as far as Port Toro, where he anchored.
The Acapulco returned again on Dec. 6, and made fast to her pier, which had been somewhat injured during the storm. There seemed to have been little damage done ashore during the storm, although the Chagris River had risen some 20 feet above its level. About 80 persons, Capt. Shackford says, perished in the harbor. Among the passengers who arrived on the Acapulco were Col. W. E. Barrows, United States Minister H. C. Hall, and L. Taber Hernand.
New York Times, 18th December 1885