South Side Signal (Babylon)
Feb 21, 1874
Lost at Sea, Edward M. Johnson, of Coram, was the first mate of the schooner. Guy R. Phelps, bound from Savannah, Ga., to N.Y., Dec. 26, loaded with lumber. The vessel experienced heavy gales up to that date, and on the 26th she lay on her beam ends, or side, between 3 and 4 hours. Her hold was half filled but the pumps were worked assiduously all the while withstanding which the water was found to be rapidly gaining on them. Mr. Johnson went forward and cut the deck-load loose and coming aft again went into the cabin to get some needed article. While down the cabin the vessel raised with a high sea and the deck-load went by the board, carrying the cabin and Mr. Johnson with it. After he was in the water some time, he came to the surface so that he could be seen from on board. The second mate fastened a rope to his waist and jumped overboard and swam to him, and just as he got
near enough to reach him a stick of timber struck Mr. Johnson on his head and he went down. They never saw him again! The rest of the crew were to the rigging four days and three nights, without anything to eat or drink, at the expiration of which time a vessel passed close enough to ask them if
they had any boat. Upon replying in the negative, the vessel went away and left them to their fate. They were saved afterwards by a vessel. The cook was almost lost. Mr. Johnson was married last October to Miss Carrie Smith, grand daughter of the late B. W. Smith of Coram.- Leader.