Ghost Ship of Diamond Shoals: The Mystery of the Carroll A. Deering

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UNC Press Books, Oct 14, 2002 - History - 256 pages
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In the misty dawn of January 31, 1921, a Coast Guardsman on watch at the Cape Hatteras Life-Saving Station sighted a mighty five-masted schooner, all sails set, wrecked on the treacherous Diamond Shoals. Rescuers rushed to the ship, but when they arrived they found the Carroll A. Deering deserted, with no trace of the captain, Willis B. Wormell, or the crew. When, several months later, a bottle was found on a nearby beach, purportedly containing a note from a crew member who ascribed the schooner's fate to its capture by pirates, a sensational panic in international shipping ensued. The captain's daughter successfully lobbied for a federal investigation, but months of inquiry failed to turn up either the missing crew or a reason for the ship's demise. To this day, the fate of the Deering has remained one of the greatest mysteries of maritime history.

Bland Simpson assembles the known facts into a compelling reconstruction of the Carroll A. Deering's final voyage and its baffling aftermath. Using contemporary sources including newspapers, FBI reports, ship's logs, and personal and official correspondence, he weaves together historical narrative with the voices of key participants in the drama. Simpson's haunting chronicle keeps the story of the Deering alive, an apt memorial to the ghost ship and its lost crew.




 

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Contents

Part One The Shoals
1
Part Two The Ship
33
Part Three The Search and Beyond
69
Epilogue
215
Chronology
227
From the Deck Logs of the Light Vessels at Frying Pan Shoals Lookout Shoals and Diamond Shoals January 2331 1921
233
Acknowledgments
239
Illustration Credits
243
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Bland Simpson's books include Into the Sound Country, The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey, and The Great Dismal. A member of the Tony Award-winning Red Clay Ramblers, Simpson has collaborated on such musicals as King Mackerel & The Blues Are Running, Kudzu, and the Broadway hit Fool Moon. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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