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In this coastal town in Virginia, shipwrecks are a frequent part of local history.
In 1891, a Norwegian ship named the Dictator wrecked off the coast of Virginia Beach. With a small crew of fifteen, and the captain with his family, the Dictator carried a large cargo of pine lumber and was heading to England from Pensacola, Florida. With repairs scheduled in the Hampton port, the Dictator made her way up the Virginia coastline. It was Good Friday.
With gale force winds, the Dictator grounded into the sandbar and both lifeboats were smashed. All on board were feared to be be lost.
But the Cape Henry and Seatack Lifesaving Stations (the forerunner to the current day United States Coast Guard) began to work tirelessly through the storm and dangerous waves to rescue the trapped passengers. At the end of the day, 8 were saved before the ship fully broke apart by nightfall. The captain's pregnant wife and their toddler, along with five sailors perished. The captain washed ashore onto the beach, alive, but barely conscious.
|1918 Va Beach Postcard featuring The Norwegian Lady|
Every year on the anniversary of the wreck, a wreath is placed at The Norwegian Lady. In 1995, Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway visited Virginia Beach to place flowers at the statue.
The following is inscribed into the statue:
I am the Norwegian Lady. I stand here, as my sister before me, to wish all men of the sea safe return home.
Pretty neat story, huh?
What about you? What's going on in your area that you want to spotlight?
Article sources from VirginiaBeach.com, Wikipedia.