My ancestor Jacob Prins was harbour master in Huizen. While searching for him in a newspaper database I found this article from an Amsterdam newspaper, about a storm in Huizen.
On 28 May 1860, a heavy storm uprooted trees and damaged some (new) buildings. The next morning the ship of Jan den Hartog, from Spakenburg, was found to be in trouble just outside the harbour. Despite the bad weather, the harbour master sent out a boat to rescue the ship.
[The boat was manned with] brisk sailors, [who went] out of voluntary philanthropy to help a fellow human being, in the most noble way, as they, neither for their trouble nor for the defiance of danger, demanded money, and even refused [the money that] was offered.
Honoured be their actions, and deserved is the mention of their names, being:
Jacob Jansen van As, Lammert van As, Hendrik Zeeman, Pieter Zeeman, Jan Westland, Harmen Heine, and Willem Schaap.
The brisk sailors managed to bring the ship safely into the harbour, where it was docked at the ship-yard.
So how could this story from Huizen, an isolated fishing village, reach Amsterdam, where it was published in a newspaper? The article ends with its source:
An eye-witness, somewhat qualified to the judgment of actions like the aforementioned, considered it his duty to report publicly this noble deed.
It is fortunate that this somewhat qualified eye-witness considered it his duty to inform the newspaper, so that the story is preserved for posterity, and I can present it here on Roots.
File: Jacob Prins. Newspaper article from Nieuw Amsterdamsch Handels- en Effectenblad, Friday, 1 June 1860.