The Pride of Tortola
The Pride of Tortola was a 65-foot island schooner once owned by Rudolph Hodge.
She certainly had an adventuresome time during her years on the sea.
Becalmed off Culebra
In 1958, she was becalmed off of the northwest tip of Culebra island making those waiting for her in St. Thomas very worried.
She was eventually found by the Coast Guard and towed back to port. The six persons on board were overjoyed.
On a Reef in Cane Garden Bay
The following year, she went up on a reef at Cane Garden Bay.
Governor Merwin immediately dispatched the tug, Carpeake, with Captain Engle Simmons to free the vessel from the reef.
Lost off Magens Bay
In 1966, the Pride of Tortola went down for the last time.
Eight crewmen and their captain survived the traumatizing event.
According to her commander, Warren Stout of West End, they were heading to St. John to sell fruits and vegetables and when they neared Magens Bay, they “felt the boat quiver'” before it started to go under.
A lifeguard from the beach, Aubrey Hodge, went out to assist the ill-fated vessel, but the men had already boarded a lifeboat.
Down into the depths went bags of cement, lumber, steel, and other associated building supplies.
The estimated loss for the vessel, reported by the captain, was $10,000.00 and another $5,000.00 for the cargo.
Many residents were saddened to learn the news as the Pride of Tortola was a regular visitor and friend to all who looked forward to her weekly arrivals.