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New Jersey Obituaries - October 6, 1897 - Four Men Drowned

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Drowned In The Ocean

Four Men Meet Their Death At North Long Branch

They Were Employed by Hennessey Brothers as Pound Fishermen - The Sea Was Tough and Their Boat Upset

Four fishermen were drowned at North Long Branch on Monday morning and three others were rescued with difficulty. The drowned men were George Robbins of Monmouth Beach, and Adolph Pierson, Joseph Herth and A. Hendrickson of Brooklyn.

The men were employed by Hennessy Brothers, pound fishermen at North Long Branch. The firm has two pounds, one of them being about a mile off shore and the other only a few hundred yards distant. On Monday morning two boats started for the pounds. One boat was in charge of William Hennessy and it succeeded in reaching the outer pound. The second boat, in charge of Captain Henry Smith of North Long Branch , and containing Joseph Herth, Adolph Pierson, A. Hendrickson, Andrew Nelson and George Robbins started for the inner pound. The boat was about thirty feet in length and was managed with oars.

The sea was running very heavy and when they were about a hundred yards from the beach an immense wave struck the boat. At the same time Captain Smith's oar broke and the boat instantly capsized. The men were thrown overboard and Herth, Pierson, Hendrickson and Robbins disappeared almost instantly. Smith, Johnson and Nelson managed to cling to their oars.

The accident was witnessed by other employees on the shore and they sent up a rocket, which attracted the attention of the men in the boat at the outer pound. They immediately put out to the rescue and found Captain Smith and Johnson still clinging to the oars and pulled them ashore. Nelson was a considerable distance away. He had managed to swim until near the shore, when he became unconscious. Before he could be rescued he was landed on the beach by the waves, exhausted. He was resuscitated with difficulty. Three of the drowned men were Swedes and had been in the employ of the fishing firm about three weeks. Robbins had been employed by the Hennessy brothers a long time. Captain Smith is also an old employee.

At the time of the accident all of the men wore heavy rubber boots, which prevented them from swimming.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, October 6, 1897

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