“On the hills we often see motionless figures with spyglasses, watching for incoming ships, for piloting is still a business with the men of the (island) and one of the men of the island told me that eleven ships were once taken into New Bedford in a single day by (island) pilots,” said a writer for a local historical society.
No shipwreck is more famous here than that of the Aquatic. On the evening of February 24, 1893, the Aquatic out of Canada washed onto Sow and Pigs Reef and an island lifesaving crew tried to save the sailors on board during a bad winter storm. The wreck was spotted by the son of the local lighthouse keeper around 8:30 at night. On the island at the time there were two lifesaving groups who frequently braved the elements to help ships in peril. In 1847, the Massachusetts Humane Society had erected stations on the island with appliances for islanders who were always ready to help fellow mariners.
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