I went off for a drive down the National Seashore today, and ended up in the town of Rodanthe.
That’s where the Chicamacomico US Life-Saving Station is. It is now an Historic Site and Museum. It was the first US Life-Saving Station built and manned in North Carolina in 1874. This is the 1911 Station that was built to replace the much smaller first Station.
I arrived just in time to hear the program about the history of the Service. He was so enthusiastic that you just couldn’t help being drawn into the tale he was telling.
The job that these men did from 1874 – 1915 is simply amazing. They risked their lives to go out in stormy seas to save the crews of ships that were in peril along the coast. They faced hurricanes, Nor’easters, the dangerous offshore shoals, and even German submarines in WWI to help those sailors in need.
During the day light hours, four hour shifts were conducted from the tower of the Station to scan the seas. During the nights, the shore was patrolled by foot. Each life saver walked a circuit of six miles.
I even managed to climb up the ladders to the tower for a look see.
The 4000 lb. boat had to be towed down to the oceans edge, and then launched. Not at all an easy task with seas that could have 30’ waves. Sometimes they had horses to pull the boat down, but other times the men got into the harnesses and pulled it themselves.
I guess they were all pretty good at tying knots. In 1915, the US Life-Saving Service merged with the US Revenue Cutter Service to become our present US Coast Guard. I wonder if Paul and Chuck would have enjoyed this rigorous and dangerous job?? I found this to be a very interesting and educational stop for me, but probably wouldn’t have gotten as much out of it if I hadn’t heard the presentation first.
Now for the Bugman coming. That’s my nickname for my friend Jack. The last time we crossed paths was when I was at Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR. Among other things we went looking for long-leafed pine needles for his basket making hobby. Perhaps some of you remember him. If not, maybe this will jog your memory.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy