The schooner Germania departed New York City on Tuesday, August 3, 1869, heading for Europe. Sailing into thick fog and heavy seas, the ship ran aground four days later off of Long Branch. The local Life-Saving Station volunteers tried to help the foundering vessel, but conditions were too rough to land a rope and grappling hook for a lifeline, and seas were far too heavy to launch lifeboats. Eleven of the 15 crew members drowned. In the inquiry that followed, testimony emerged that some thought the captain had intentionally beached the vessel while drunk.
Source: The New York Times, Nov. 29, 1889, p. 1.