The following is an excerpt from a recently discovered unpublished work, written by one of the surfmen at The Ocean City Life Saving Station who witnessed the wreck of the 329 foot 4-masted sailing ship called the Sindia in December of 1901.
“It is believed by old Seamen that if Peck’s Beach could be uncovered, there is not a square foot that would not divulge portions of wrecks.
Some strange fatality, however, attends this particular point where the Sindia lies.
For a stretch of a thousand feet or more North and South…
More wrecks have been recorded than in all other seven miles of the Strand.
These wrecks, when covered by the sand are effectively sealed from the ravages of time.
This is shown in the portion of a wreck probably the sternpost of the vessel, which the tide had recently revealed lying close to the Sindia, which is as hard as iron.
A few years ago when the sea had not encroached so far as it has now…
And after a storm tide had followed…
The hull of this vessel was clearly defined and by walking out on the ends of the ribs. Another wreck was plainly visible under the water. Lying almost at right angles to the first one. So close that one might easily jump from one to the other. It is upon the latter wreck that the Sindia lies.
Where these two vessels hailed from.
Or where they are bound is not known by any certainty.
Some claim that the first wreck is that of the Immigrant ship Rhyme which in 1840 sprang a leak and was abandoned near Corson’s Inlet after a load of 300 Irish immigrants have been rescued.
The Vessel drifted about for several days before coming ashore.
The second wreck is said to be that of an English Merchantman, which went down in 1775.
If this be true of the latter, and tradition favors it more than any other,
the wood forming the decks of the Sindia had not even yet begun to grow.
And the metal used in the construction of her hull…
Was deep in the ores of the Earth when this merchant vessel went down.
Reckoning not of time till over a century and a quarter past over her battered hull.
The Sindia and her Captain finished their work together Captain Mackenzie whose name was proverbial among English Sailing Master’s for 35 years for his success as Chief Officer of the Sindia and other merchant vessels.
Was making his last trip before retiring from the sea.
His own years were rolling up toward threescore-and-ten.
And the Sindia was to know a new master on her next voyage.
By the strange way of Fate the hands that laid her Keel in Belfast Harbor.
Turned her bow upon the shoals when she foundered on the Jersey Coast.
In less than a year after the disaster.
Captain Mackenzie sailed out beyond the final Harbor Bar, into the Open Sea.
And the Sindia, and her master, closed a brilliant record of History.