Bunnell, Florida
Thursday, March 25, 1920

Monday afternoon between three and four o’clock the steamer Northwestern, out of Charleston for Havana, coal laden, was beached by her Captain in order to save his crew for twenty-eight men.

Shortly after the vessel cleared from Charleston it was discovered that she was leaking badly and every effort was made to keep the boat – one of the rapidly built wooden structures that was tacked together for Uncle Samuel for war purposes only – atop the sea, but discerning that the tack was beyond his power determined to make for land as rapidly as possible.

With the deck of the tub almost awash the Northwestern went aground near the north boundary line of Flagler County.

Capt. P. E. Hensen took this step for the purpose of saving the crew. He gave the orders to launch the life boats necessary for the men, and most the men made it safely to the breakers without an accident, although all bur one of the lifeboats were capsized when the breakers were reached.

When the boat took the sand beach it yawed stern to the north and one member of the crew believing that the boat was going rapidly to pieces in the heavy seas then running, leaped overboard on the windward side and was immediately hoisted back among the rigging and debris, where his foot was caught by falling timber and very badly crushed and his leg broken below the knee. He managed to free himself in some way and by making use of a floating spar reached land.

A man by the name of M. Ludwigson, a Norwegian, was drowned when the lifeboat in which he was a passenger was turned over in the surf, the supposition being that he was taken with a cramp. He was just out of the hot engine room, where he was employed as an oiler, and wet with perspiration when he came on deck. He had worked in water knee deep before leaving the engine room, and the cold northeast wind chilled him. His chief is quite confident that he was taken with a cramp, because he said the man was a good swimmer and an able-bodied man.

The other men were slightly injured, all the balance of the crew escaping with only a ducking.

The men spent the remainder of the day and the greater portion of Monday night on the beach. Tuesday morning the residence of Mr. Ed Johnson was sighted and that ever-ready and willing helper got busy. He phoned the situation to Bunnell and called for help from the townspeople. Mayor Holden was informed and medical assistance as well as many automobiles for the use of the shipwrecked men were rushed to St. Joseph landing, on the canal, where all the men had been assembled, and from that point the man with the crushed leg and foot was loaded aboard the steamer bound for Daytona, accompanied by Dr. A. O. Roberts, and taken there to be placed in the hospital where it was believed the limb would have to be amputated.

Two hours after the boat when aground she was a total wreck, so the assistant engineer told a Tribune man, and from the looks of the beach his story is easily believed.

The men brought to Bunnell in cars by Messrs. Sam Newbill, Dewey Moody, Clarence Pellicer, Mayor Holden and George Biddle, took the afternoon northbound train for Jacksonville and Charleston. The body of the drowned man has not been recovered.