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240 Drown as The New Era Sinks off Deal Beach

On November 13, 1854, the New Era, a three-masted square-rigged commercial ship, was blown onto the shoals of Deal Beach in heavy weather. Efforts from nearby boats and Life-Saving Stations prooved futile, with crew members saving themselves and abandoning passengers. Of the 415 who had embarked from Bremen, 132 survived, 240 drowned, and 43 died of cholera or injury before the ship reached America. Only the ship’s anchor was recovered; it is on display in front of the Allenhurst Historical Society in Allenhurst. The anchor is part of a historical monument in honor of Abner Allen, Allenhurst’s earliest settler, keeper of the local lifeboat house, and first rescuer to the scene of the shipwreck. The marker reads, “In solemn reverence of this disaster’s role in establishing the U.S. Lifesaving Service, known today as the U.S. Coast Guard. It is hoped that this memorial shall inspire a permanent and prominent appreciation of our local heritage.”

Source: Entertaining a Nation: The Career of Long Branch. (1940). The Writers’ Project, Works Projects Administration, State of New Jersey. The Jersey Printing Co., Bayonne, N.J., pp. 33-37.

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