Thursday, August 20, 2015

Rescue In A Vast Ocean

The spirits of departed relatives sometimes return to save a loved one.

In March of 1876, a sea captain named George Hatfield was a few weeks from his home in Fox River, Nova Scotia. He was sailing north from Cuba to Boston when a bad storm hit the Atlantic Ocean.

He spent a stressful day at the helm of his ship and then gratefully retired to get so much needed rest. But as fate would have it this was not to be.

Soon after Hatfield nodded off he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard a voice state he needed to change course. But when he rolled over there was no one in his cabin.

Hatfield thought his first mate must have delivered the message and then rushed back up on deck. The captain headed up to the bridge to find out what was going on.

On deck he spotted his first mate at the wheel leading the ship through the stormy waters. Hatfield approached him and quizzed him as to why he did not want to follow the set course.

But the first mate had no idea what he was talking about. Hatfield feeling foolish concluded he must have dreamed the visitor in his cabin.

He went below and crawled back into his bunk. He fell asleep quickly but shortly after he was awakened again in the same manner.

Angry, Hatfield headed back to the deck. He demanded his first mate tell him why he wanted to change course and why he had not stayed after waking him to discuss this matter.

Noticeably puzzled, the mate replied that he had not left his post, nor had any other crewmember.

Now confused, the captain returned to his cabin. He had barely closed his eyes when someone tapped his shoulder and ordered him in a loud voice to make a specific course change.

This time as the captain looked up he saw a strange man leaving his cabin. Hatfield jumped up and hurried up the stairs to the deck. When he reached his first mate he asked him if he had seen someone walking along the deck.

His first mate replied no. The captain then ordered him to alter the ship’s course in the way the voice had directed him. The first mate despite the captain’s erratic behavior followed his orders.

This time when Hatfield returned to his bunk he was able to go to sleep without any more interruptions.

The next morning when the captain appeared on deck he ordered his men to keep a sharp look out at the sea.

Several hours later he heard a cry and then one of his crew pointed out a battered ship that appeared to be taking on water quickly.

The captain was able to maneuver his ship close to the sinking ship. It was the American schooner D. Talbot. His crew managed to rescue everyone on board.

The ship’s captain, a man by the name of Amesbury, was particularly grateful for his wife and child were on board the doomed ship.

Later after the captain and his family were dry, Hatfield told them how he had happened to find them. He described the mysterious man that had appeared in his cabin.

Captain Amesbury’s wife interrupted Hatfield and asked him to describe what this man wore. After he did, she began to cry. Hatfield asked her what was the matter?

She told him that he had described her father—this man had died ten years earlier.

Everyone involved later agreed that her father’s spirit had returned from the grave and guided Hatfield to the exact spot in the vast Atlantic Ocean—where his help was needed.

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