Could everyone write one simple essay about something that once happened in Saltaire…that they saw or were a part of…and put it on one big website? Somebody should collect a lot of stories before we all forget. Otherwise it is like a line in “On The Beach” : The history of the war that now would never be written.” -(JO'H)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Wreck of the LePapillon on March 31, 2011 Recalls Fire Island's centuries old reputation as a graveyard for navigation.







GREAT PICTURES COURTESY LIV HEMPEL

March 31, 2011 and April 1, 2011


(Ed. Note: This post originally ran on April 1, 2011.)


This week we saw just one more of the of hundreds and hundreds of vessels that have met their fate on Fire Island's shoals. Forget about GPS and radar and sonar and modern charts. If you fall asleep at the wheel, as rumor has it, you are still gonna meet your fate. Fortunately nobody was hurt, but the LePapillon, aground off West Walk since Thursday, looks to be doomed. The Schooner was hard aground, and they lacked the bread to call in SeaTow. By Friday afternoon, it looked as if boat may break up in the surf. Maybe the Coast Guard will destroy her to prevent her from being a hazard to navigation. You can hire a towing service, but these folks apparently could not afford it. In the old days, for a hundred years or so, the Fire Island Lifesaving Service would have lent a hand:






It appears there were three young people on board the LePapillon who may have fallen asleep and let the boat drift ashore. (No, Cosmo was not on board) . Supposedly they were sailing from Maryland taking it to Maine. In any event, Fire Island got in the way. Nobody was hurt. The boat was still there as of Friday, and had become more embedded in the sand making it that much harder to get it back out to sea.


Frank Markus reports: The boat was coming from Maryland (not Florida.) She has a steel hull which won't burn and is very heavy. I have no idea how they will get her off the beach. They may have to cut her up. Whatever they decide, it will be expensive and apparently money is a problem for the owner.The Coast Guard is taking action to get fuel out of the boat to avoid pollution. There were two Coast Guardsmen the Coram station at the wreck today (Friday, April 1) and they met with the owner when he arrived around noon.Of course, there are lots of stories and rumors. I have been told that the boat was the owner's retirement plan and that it was uninsured. I was also told that was taken by his son without permission. I have no way to confirm whether any of this is true.There were three young men on board when she came ashore yesterday at around noon. I was told that they may have gone to a hospital but I have no idea which one or for what kind of treatment.



Beaver sez: Perhaps these mariners were fooled by descendants of those wreck pirates of the 1700's who used to light fires on the beach to lure ships ashore.





There have been, of course countless ships lost on these shores over the years. Who can forget the the image of the Hougomount on Saltaire's shores in the winter of 1913-1914.


Hougomount at Saltaire, 1913-1914 Courtesy Capt. Frank Mina


One of Saltaire's oldest families, the Lynch Family was introduced to Saltaire by a shipwreck in 1919 or so. Mrs. Lynch, a public health worker or nurse, came to aid in the rescue efforts. The rescuers use the Saltaire cottages as relief stations. Nurse Lynch fell in love with the Saltaire then and there, and she bought land (which is now underwater not far from the LePapillon now lays dying) and a cottage and her family lived in Saltaire for the next 50 years or so. True story.


And don't forget, of course, Margaret Fuller. Transcendentalist, feminist, writer, met her fate, along with her child and her husband when their ship ran aground on Fire Island in July, 1850. See the post immediately below this post for contemporary accounts of what happend when Margaret Fuller's ship wrecked. So don’t feel bad, LePapillon. You are not the first. Nor will you be the last.








(Thanx go to Liv Hempel, Liz Kelly, Beaver, undnamed sources and named sources.)

27 comments:

cosmo said...

No, I wasn't aboard, but who do you think was setting the fires on the beach?

cosmo said...

I just confirmed with Ted Friend that the schooner is almost duplicate of the Edna B. Hartley, which often graced the waters off Saltaire.

BEAVER said...

COSMO SEEMS TO TAKE CREDIT FOR LIGHTING SIGNAL FIRES WHICH LURED THE CURRENT SCHOONER ASHORE..............THE REASON FOR THIS ACT OF MODERN DAY PIRACY??

HE HEARD THE VESSEL WAS FILLED WITH CASES OF LIQUOR HE WISHED TO PLUNDER

Anonymous said...

Truly Cosmo was the starter of the SLA and the Kaboom! That was the Saltaire Liberation Army of the 1970's following in the foot steps of then Patti Hearst( which I am sure he thought he was somehow related).
Going around and pillaging Wally Schlintz's firewood for warmth during those youthful years of Spring and fall before he shaped up and became an honest JD. Using the kaboom as a suicide bomber would carrying lighter fluid for ignition, and plenty of tennis balls ( the secret formula and ingredients.) for the attack. Always threatening to be at the boarders and of Kismet and Fair Harbor to start the raid of st. Andrews Church down Broadway for a ring a ding ding.
What about those wild beach fire parties on Dune 13? Telling babes, you haven't lived yet until you make it with me on Dune 13 at the stroke of midnight.

Anonymous said...

THANKS for the UP-DATE on The Le Papillon

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the up-date

Anonymous said...

HOW ABOUT THE STORY OF ANOTHER INTREPID MARINER THAT FLIPPED THEIR BOSTON WHALER OVER IN THE SURF OFF ROBERT MOSES STATE PARK. THIS SAME PERSON EVENTUALLY BECAME FIRST SEA LORD OF GREAT SOUTH BAY.

ANY GUESSES ON WHO THIS PERSON WAS?

Anonymous said...

GREAT PHOTOSHOPPING JIM!

cosmo said...

I know what caused the wreck of Le Papillon. The captain was lured ashore by the Sirens of Saltaire.

Anonymous said...

Hey, how about some more pic and info,

BEAVER said...

LATEST NEWS UPDATE - AS OF THIS AFTERNOON(4/5) THERE IS TALK THAT THE VILLAGE OF SALTAIRE WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO ASSUME THE COST OF REMOVING THE VESSEL FROM THE BEACH. CHESTERFIELD ASSOCIATES(WHO BUILT THE NEW FEDERALLY FUNDED DOCK - LOVE THOSE EARMARKS!!) IS PROPOSING TO USE A LARGE CRANE TO LIFT THE BOAT ONTO A LARGE FLATBED TRAILER AND RETURN THE VESSEL TO AMERIKA. MY OLDER SON TOLD ME THAT THIS WAS THE LOGICAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM LAST WEEK WHEN THE BOAT RAN AGROUND.

Richardinhingham said...

The boat looks mighty sturdy BUT badly filled with sand and salt water. May be a total loss at this point, but she was a pretty boat.

Hope they CAN truck her out of the surf. Wonder why Saltaire would wind up with the bill?

Woodenboat's forum is following this story as well, though she is a steel hulled vessel.

Anonymous said...

MY THOUGHTS ARE FOR THE VILLAGE TO PUT A MARKER ON THE OCEAN FRONT SAYING:
WELCOME TO SALTAIRE THE NEW GRAVEYARD OF THE ATLANTIC.
IT SHOULD BE IN NEON FOR NIGHT GROUNDINGS AS WELL. CURB SIDE SERVICE, VALET PARKING. AT THE COST OF SCRAP METAL TODAY THE VILLAGE COULD MAKE A HEFTY PROFIT.

cosmo said...

I don't be;ieve it would be possiple to remove the ship by flatbead trailer. It probably weights around 20 tons, and the wheels of any flatbed trailer would stick in the soft sand.

michelle biancardo said...

They are going to attempt to drag it down the beach with some really heavy equipment and then load it on a trailer. Very nice family who owns the boat!! Like any lower species i.e. Vultures, Maggots etc. who pick the flesh off of semi-dead bodies... Some people from neighboring villages have attempted to swoop down and remove things in the middle of the night to put in their collection of crapy lawn ornaments. Any scum that would do that obviously has never been offshore in any real weather... and at the mercy of the spirit ocean gods!!!

We must build another OMO and send it out in return

Vinny Sahi

Anonymous said...

The crook who tried to steal anything he could off the boat left his tool bag behind! Scampered down the beach like a little rat with one of the wood name plates of the boat under his arm. We got his tool bag ! Now its time to do some detective work.. I will post a picture of the bag soon!

Vinny Sahi

Travis and Maggie said...

We have our boats at the same marina Le Papillion used to call home. Needless to say there is a lot of buzz about this around here. The story going here is that the owner's son was living aboard the boat at the marina, and decided to take it, with a couple of drunken buddies, to Maine. None of them had experience sailing, and they also did not have permission to take the vessel. They ran aground soon after departure, but were able to get towed off. The engine was disabled before they lost sight of the marina. Surprising they made it so far. It's a real shame about the boat. She was really something.

Anonymous said...

D
Thanks for the up date, Anyone have the link to wooden boat

Richardinhingham said...

Here's the story on WB's "Anything boat related" forum.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?129131-Colvin-Pinky-Schooner-Shipwrecked

Joseph Questa said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dm1w4vGit9M&feature=related
THE COST IS 12.OOO DOLLARS TO TAKE OUT FROM THE BEACH

eddie myers said...

i am Edward Myers my slip was next to papillon, little bert was not living abord the vessel nor were they drunk they actually were prepsaring to leave when i returned from a weekend cruise with my family the stated that they had come down from maine to take the pappilon to maine the were replaceing the mainsail sheet and most of the sail comtrols and when I asked bert he said that his knew about the move and one of the ladies that was with them assured me that bert was her neighbor, this was not a drunken lark but a premeditated piece of piracy.

JaneShanley said...

http://longisland.craigslist.org/boa/2305694361.html

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the links

Anonymous said...

babylon vette.. due to an unfortunate situation why don;t we the people take up a collection to help set the boat free from this desolite piece of richmans land and return it to the owners free of charge .. why must all the capitlists make a fortune on someones mistake .. we already pay the coastguard and supliment theb local marina;s and police .. they get paid anyway

Anonymous said...

The Crew and Capt are gone... this is the end of the story...very sad!

michelle biancardo said...

On my way to work this morning I saw some very large equipment near the old Kismet Firehouse!? It could be removal time

Vinny Sahi

Anonymous said...

The Yacht is home now! In the process of a rebuild.

Vinny Sahi