Hope floats: Tangier is rescued


The 42-foot, 18-ton schooner Tangier was rescued on Tuesday morning. Carlton Sprague, the owner of Tangier, previously told the Times that strong winds from the blizzard ”pulled the cleat right out of the boat,” causing it to drift and eventually run aground. 

Sprague received help from a group of volunteers to free the vessel.

Sprague and his son, Nate, were pumping out water from the schooner Tuesday morning and preparing it to be moved from the spot where it grounded. The crew of the motorboat Patrol II helped prepare Tangier to be moved by the tugboat, Thuban, to Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard. Carlton told the Times that the Thuban’s captain, Ralph Packer, offered to help get the Tangier back to where it belongs.

“You need volunteers,” Carlton said, expressing his appreciation for the help he received. 

Carlton did lose a couple of things to the storm — one couch and a six-pack of beer were tossed overboard during the schooner’s wild ride Saturday.

The top side of Tangier was “dinged up a bit,” but there was no damage to the hull. 

“She’s back to life,” Carlton said. 

Carlton said the Tangier is a schooner with a storied history. Built in Maine in 1925, Tangier journeyed to the Arctic multiple times, was used as a research vessel, and helped collect data for an early cruising guide. 

Tangier was hoisted on the travel lift, and will be returned to its mooring at Owen Park dock area sometime Wednesday.


  1. Thanks to the Harbormaster John Crocker for invaluable assistance and support immediately following the grounding of Tangier.

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