"[S]he struck against a reef ...the scene which then took place was fearful in the extreme. The passengers came rushing up the hatchways, some in their night-clothes, and all in the greatest disorder, screaming and wringing their hands frantically, while the ship kept rolling from side to side with the greatest violence, sometimes appearing as if she would have gone on her beam ends altogether..." Ebenezer Miller, passenger. (Preston Chronicle, Saturday 11 June 1853.) The loss of the emigrant ship William & Mary made news around the world not once but twice in 1853. First when her American captain reported the vessel lost before his eyes in the shark-infested waters of the Bahamas and the death of over 200 left on board, then again when the truth emerged - a tale of abandonment, desperation, and the incredible heroism of a wrecker and his crew.
Discover the people involved in this mysterious shipwreck, including: * Captain Timothy Stinson, the callous young mariner who attempted mass murder* Susannah Dimond, the English 19-year-old hoping for a new life in St.Louis with her family, husband and unborn child* Izaak Roorda, one of a group of 87 Dutch emigrants seeking to settle in Wisconsin, who found the lifeboat more perilous than the sinking shipOver 160 years later, Gill Hoffs reveals the terrifying true events that drove one man to murder passengers with a hatchet and others to abandon their family and friends - and a wrecker to risk his life for total strangers.