Saturday, November 13, 2010

Memorial plaques for wrecked ships, Scituate MA

Scituate MA is located by a rough coastline, that has threatened seafarers during centuries. On the small peninsula holding the old lighthouse you find two small memorial plaques telling stories from two of these dramas at sea.

The pilot boat Columbia and the Portland Gale (1898)

The oldest plaque tells the story about the pilot boat Columbia that went on ground in Scituate during severe weather November 27th 1898. That same night a ship, Portland Gale, went down as well.

All hands was lost, refers probably to the the men of Columbia, as well as Portland Gale.

The tragedy that struck Portland Gale and the Columbia was commemorated and remembered a century later with this plaque. This as severe Nor'easters frequently strike this coastline. I was stranded in the US due to one many years ago, but that is another story.

Freighter Etrusco (1956)

The story of the Italian freighter Etrusco had a good end - all hands safe. This story has a peculiar connection to one member of my staff.

As I started in my current job, I had a talk with one of my colleagues, mentioning that I take one annual trip to Scituate. She was baffled, as she had stayed there during the rescue operation of - yes- the Italian freighter Etrusco.

The ship grounded in March 1956 under much the same conditions as the Portland Gale, but she stayed afloat and was pulled off in November the same year.

Here father was responsible for the ship's rescue.

Life is full of surprises......

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