One of the rescue boats... The PARAMOUNT from Brielle, NJ – 1934
A postcard of the "PARAMOUNT" from Brielle, NJ circa 1934. These rare postcards were made soon after the "PARAMOUNT" rescued victims from the burning liner "MORRO CASTLE" on September 8, 1934. The rescue story goes like this… The Bogan family was living in Lakewood, NJ at the time when a phone call woke them at 2:00 AM in the morning on September 8. The caller told them that a big ship was afire off Sea Girt, NJ. The Bogan clan went down to the dock in Brielle and learned that the Coast Guard was unwilling to send out their 40-foot patrol boat out into the raging storm with its 40-plus knot winds and wild seas. They decided to go out to the scene in the 57-foot "PARAMOUNT" and rounded up several other men that were at the docks. It was daybreak when they left and they almost turned around in the inlet after seeing the terrible sea conditions, but decided to press on.
After reaching the burning liner, they spent the next four hours plucking victims from the rough seas and eventually came back to the dock with 67 survivors aboard the 57-foot boat. The "PARAMOUNT" also managed to tow a lifeboat back to another rescue ship, the "ANDREA S. LUCKENBACH". Not a bad day's catch by anyone's standards!
Other mini-sagas were also happening during the disaster… During the morning hours of September 8, then New Jersey Governor A. Harry Moore braved the storm winds in a small airplane to survey the disaster scene. Whenever they spotted survivors floating in the ocean, they would signal the rescue vessels. Captain Bob Ziegler's party boat "DIANA" from Brielle, NJ came out to the scene when weather conditions improved later in the day and recovered twelve bodies. Captain Ziegler mentioned seeing several sharks cruising the area.