The Sinking of the Minnie G. Atkins
San Francisco Chronicle
June 21, 1873

DISASTERS ON THE DEEP
A Collision between Two Schooners on the Bar
One Fills with Water and Becomes a Total Wreck
Another Schooner Stranded at Moro Bay
The Schooner Minnie G. Atkins, Captain Dodd, sailed out of the bay yesterday on her way to Fish Rock. While crossing the bar, about 11 o'clock, she was run into by the schooner "Laura May", also outward bound. Captain Dodd states that he had just come in stays, and, while the schooner was lying dead before the wind gathering headway, she was struck amidships by the Laura May, with tremendous force. Her side was stove in and she filled almost immediately, the captain and crew barely escaping with their lives. They went on board the pilot boat "George Peabody", which, with "Caleb Curtis", took hold of the "Atkins" by the foremast and attempted, to tow her back into the harbor. A heavy sea was on and a strong northwest wind swept the bar, so that the vessels were unable to make headway with the foundered schooner, and after several hours' fruitless attempts to tow her inside the heads they were forced to abandon her. The last seen of the vessel was about 5 o'clock, when she was drifting toward Point Pedre, where she undoubtedly went ashore. It is believed that she will go to pieces. Captain Dodd came back to the city on the "Laura May", which was forced to return in consequence of having her headgear carried away in the collision.

The Schooner Laura May was in violation of maritime law. First, she did not stay to pick up survivors. Second and most important, the Atkins was in stays and in a crippled condition. The captain of the Laura May in an interview to the insurance companies said he did not alter course "because I was on the starboard tack and the Atkins on the port and I had the right of way."

This story has a bright side. Exactly one year later, Adams was almost the same spot, in a new, larger, faster schooner built for him called the Venus.


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