From the Nov. 1, 1923 edition of the Gazette:

The effort of Norman G. Benson, of the North Shore, to learn something of a mysterious wrecked motorboat, the Alpatha, on the shore of Naushon, near Tarpaulin Cove, led to the rescue of two men from certain death Sunday afternoon on the Vineyard side of the sound.

The two men were in an unconscious condition aboard another motorboat, the Vitesse. An investigation by the police showed that one of the men was apparently Arthur H. White, Washington St., Roxbury, and the other has since been identified as William N. Jackson, of Fall River. Jackson is about 65 years of age.

The two men were hurried to the Marine Hospital at Vineyard Haven where their condition was declared to be critical.

Benson had seen the wreck of the Alpatha and had wondered why so fine a motorboat had been left abandoned on Naushon. Sunday, with his son Franklin and two friends, he started out to look the craft over. When he reached the shore, he observed a strange craft farther up the beach. He hailed the other craft but received no response.

The Benson party then boarded the boat and found the man identified as White lying as if dead on the floor of the cabin below the steering wheel. The boat was in four compartments and every one was filled with heavy gasoline fumes.

In the engine room was found the body of the other man beside the engine.

Doors and windows were opened to get fresh air to the men and emergency treatment applied until assistance could be secured to help remove them from the motor boat.

George Whitney, superintendent of the estate of Republican National Committeeman William M. Butler; State Police Officer Raymond R. Cook; Herbert Flanders of Chilmark, Dr. Allen and Dallace Lindsey of the hospital, were summoned. The two men were removed to the beach and emergency treatment was continued until they were brought to the hospital.

In the clothes of White was found a document bearing the name of the Alpatha.

The Alpatha was wrecked on the shore of Naushon eight days ago, and at the time there were suspicions that she as engaged in taking goods ashore from rum runners. The authorities could find nothing that would bear out the theory. The Vitesse must have left New Bedford or Woods Hole on Sunday, as she had aboard copies of Sunday newspapers.

In the pocket of White were found receipts and other papers. Among them was a receipt made out by D. M. Kelley, of Fairhaven, dated Oct. 3, to the Alpatha for 140 gallons of gasoline. This is the only connecting link to indicate that the men aboard the Vitesse had anything to do with the Alpatha stranded on Naushon. At the time of the stranding of the Alpatha there was suspicions that she had been running from rum runners along the coast to the shore.

White died early Tuesday morning at the United States Marine hospital, Vineyard Haven. Death occurred at 12:45, and was due to carbon monoxide poisoning from gas fumes, according to Dr. R. L. Allen, head of the hospital. Mr. White did not regain consciousness at any time.

Mrs. White, the dead man’s father, sister and two brothers, Captain Irving White, well known in the coasting trade, and William White of Boston, arrived at the Vineyard Monday noon. When death came to Mr. White shortly after midnight the family was at a hotel. Mr. White had four small children. The body will be taken to Roxbury for burial.

The death of Jackson followed at 10:15 on Wednesday morning, and he remained unconscious to the end. Mrs. Jackson had hastened to the Vineyard from Fall River, and had been waiting at the bedside of her husband.

Dr. E. P. Worth, of Edgartown, medical examiner, was called into the case Tuesday morning, Dr. Allen said, not necessarily because foul play was suspected but because Mr. White died without regaining consciousness and no explanation of the circumstances which caused the two men to drift unconscious in the Vitesse had been made. Continued investigation has failed to settle the connection between the men and the wrecked abandoned motorboat Alpatha, jammed in the rocks off Naushon Island, since Oct. 18. A receipt in the pocket of White for gasoline for the craft indicated some connection. Registration papers aboard the Alpatha, however, gave the owner’s name as that of John Camp, Holliston. The fuel tanks of the boat were empty and one was punctured.

White when found had $231.02 in his pocket, while Jackson had $17.72. A diamond ring was also found in one of White’s pockets.

There is much speculation regarding the mystery, the most engrossing since that of the steamer John Dwight last spring. Nothing more of how the two men, White lying unconscious beneath the steering wheel and Jackson beside the engine, came to be in their predicament had become known Tuesday morning, authorities at the hospital said. The two men never recovered to utter a single word of explanation. The authorities, it was said, may never know exactly what happened aboard the motorboat.

Compiled by Hilary Wallcox