2005-05-20 / Columnists

Historical Views

of the Rockaways Grounded Off Breezy Point - 1920
From The Rockaway Museum by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

of the Rockaways
Grounded Off Breezy Point - 1920

From The Rockaway Museum
by Emil Lucev, Curator
Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

During the ferocious winter of 1919-1920, the steamship Princess Anne was grounded, or broached the shore in the area of Rockaway Inlet. Spotted by the Coast Guard Shore Patrol, whose men walked the surf line in bad weather, the word was spread. A quick response by the Coast Guard and police boats saved the 104 souls on board.

The efforts to get the ship going again were to no avail. Despite the fact that the ship was stripped of cargo and other weighty equipment, it remained steadfastly stuck on shoals and sandbars off the point, and was left at the mercy of the pounding surf – which was rather heavy with all the storms striking in the winter of 1920.

Needless to say, King Neptune pounded the ship to pieces after it was stripped by salvage crews.

Today’s Historical View shows the Princess Anne, now a wreck, slowly being demolished by wind and wave.

After awhile it was sanded over and the ship’s machinery was said to have been struck by a fishing boat crossing a shoal in the area in July of 1937. This ramming was the last heard about the Princess Anne, whose wreck was not shown on the charts of the Rockaway Inlet.

If the wreck was close-in, and not a menace to navigation, the remains could lie somewhere under the present Point Beach. Can a “pointer” enlighten us on the exact location of the wreck of the Princess Anne?

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