MAILBOAT NAME: S/V The Brontes (aka “Brontes”)
PAST NAMES: not known – probably there were none
DIMENSIONS: 42 tons, sailing schooner, not known but capable of carrying 30 passengers, officers and crew, official # 151268
From the extraordinary book “The Great Bahamian Hurricanes of 1926: The Story of Three of the Greatest Hurricanes to Ever Affect the Bahamas,” by Wayne Neely, published in 2009, pages 127 –
128, describe the mail boat The Brontesleaving for San Salvador at the outset of the 1926 hurricane:
Two hours later the weather had deteriorated so badly that he ‘didn’t think the captain would be able to go through the Cays.” At some point on that Sunday night, The Brontes, probably after broaching, would be smashed to pieces somewhere in the Exuma Cays, hurling its 30 passengers and crew into the unforgiving sea. Sadly, there would be no survivors. Pieces of the wreckage would later turn up at Beacon Cay in the Exumas. A few days later a search party from Cat Island would make a gruesome discovery at Highbourne Cay (Norman’s Cay according to another account). Two women, one of them the wife of Commissioner Greenslade, lay dead on the beach.
Describing the scene in gratuitously morbid detail, Arthur’s Town Commissioner Duncombe would note their bodies were “swollen, one having her head bound up in the usual manner for keeping out the draught and the other having sand all through her hair, the former was more swollen than the latter and her face was bursting open, the skin mostly peeled off.” Fearing contagion, the search party buried the bodies right away. Another body or two would turn up in the ensuring days but for the rest of The Brontes passengers, captain and crew, would forever be lost to the merciless waters of the Atlantic.”