In the early years of the sugar industries (1900s) people went from the Virgin Islands to Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to find work – “some of these seasonal workers settled in the host countries permanently, but most returned home at the end of each ‘sugar season.’” The families here in the Virgin Islands waited patiently to be reunited with their loved ones – many of the schooners went from San Pedro de Macoris to Road Town, Tortola, in the Virgin Islands without incident until July, 1926.
The vessel “Fancy Me” was a schooner, which was owned by two brothers, James and Alexander Smith, from Carrott Bay, in the Virgin Islands, “was returning from the port of San Pedro de Macoris on 25th July 1926, with a number of workers from Anegada and Tortola attempting to get back to the Virgin Islands in time for the August 1st Emancipation celebration – unfortunately, this was not to be. After one day at sea, the Fancy Me was caught in a storm and was wrecked on a rock known as El Caballo Blanco or ‘The White Horse” – As there was only one lifeboat, which the crew used leaving the 89 passengers to fend for themselves, 59 men perished as a result.”
The wreck of the “Fancy Me” is recorded in Virgin Islands history as it was one of the worst sea tragedies of its time affecting Virgin Islanders.
(150 Years of Achievement 1834-1984