New York Times/1888/Brave Captain Kinner

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Brave Captain Kinner  (1888) 
Captain Charles F. Kinner (1829-1899) in the New York Times on May 21, 1888.jpg

Brave Captain Kinner. With The Crew Of The Nirvana, He Rescues 10 Men. The schooner yacht Nirvana belonging to General H. W. Perkins of this city recently returned from her annual cruise among the islands of the Bahama group in charge of her veteran Captain, Charles Kinner, of Port Jefferson, Long Island, who has for a number of years sailed the General's yachts at home and abroad. While lying in the harbor of Nassau, New Providence, the Captain and crew of this yacht voluntarily performed a deed of more than ordinary daring by which 10 sailors of the crew of the bark, Bessie Parker, hailing from St. John, New-Brunswick, were saved from drowning. It appears that the bark being outward bound had crossed the harbor bar and cast anchor off the dangerous, low coral reef known as Hog Island, there to await favorable sailing weather. Instead of this, however, a violent northeaster came up, accompanied by a very heavy sea, which rendered the bar impassable and beat with tremendous force over the west end of the island, on which the lighthouse stands. The Captain of the bark was still on shore. It soon became evident to him and others that his vessel was dragging her anchors, and soon after she signaled that she had lost one of them. Every effort on the part of the Captain of the bark to induce men to join him in an attempt to save his vessel, or at least his men’s lives, failed, while it was every moment becoming more evident that she must soon drift on the reef and go to pieces. Meanwhile, Captain Kinner, with the entire crew of the Nirvana, except one man left in charge, had put off in her boats and landed on the lee side of the island with ropes and such life-saving appliances as could be hastily obtained. The lighthouse attendants, believing that it would be certain death to attempt to rescue men in such a furious surf, endeavored to dissuade Captain Kinner from the undertaking; but when a Yankee Captain and crew start on that sort of an errand, they generally “fetch” somehow. After a desperate struggle, in the course of which every man of the Nirvana’s crew risked his life a dozen times in the heavy surf, a life-line was stretched from the bark to the shore, and the first and second mate and eight seamen of the Bessie Parker were rescued from death. Yesterday the following letter was received by General Perkins from the Colonial Government Office at Nassau for Captain Kinner: Colonial Secretary’s Office, Nassau, New-Providence, May 12, 1888. Sir, I am instructed by his Excellency, Sir Ambrose Shea, to transmit you the accompanying copy of a report made by the Judge who presided at the inquiry in which special notice is taken of your gallant conduct on the occasion of the wreck of the bark Bessie Parker near this port on the 26th of April. It is evident that to your brave efforts, combined with those of Mr. Dillet of the lighthouse tender, Richmond, and other worthy helpers, the rescue of the crew from imminent peril is to be ascribed. His Excellency is well assured that to men like you capable of such heroic conduct, the deed you have done is its own reward, and that you seek no other recompense. But the public owe it to themselves in cases like this to recognize the philanthropy and unselfishness that have been displayed and it is the Governor’s grateful duty to assure you of the high estimation with which the community regards the services you have rendered in the present case. His excellency will not fail to have this transaction brought to the notice of the Royal Humane Society in England. I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient servant, E.B.A. Taylor, Colonial Secretary, To Capt. Kinner of the Yacht Nirvana.

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