The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association (USLSSHA) is an organization dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and early US Coast Guard. The association is a national nonprofit, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preserving America’s fast-vanishing lifesaving stations and early Coast Guard lifeboat stations. Few other groups of historic American buildings are more endangered than our lifesaving and lifeboat stations. To a far greater extent even than lighthouses, Life-Saving Stations are still being lost and falling into tragic disrepair.
The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association was founded at the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1995 by individuals, maritime historians, authors, museum directors and National Park Service professionals to preserve the stations, history, boats, and equipment of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard. We are the only national organization dedicated to preserving America’s fast-vanishing Life-Saving stations and early Coast Guard lifeboat stations.
Our goal is to preserve the stations, history, boats, and equipment of the U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard so that future generations can learn about this part of our maritime heritage. Please browse through this web site to learn about the equipment, daily lives and the stations that were part of this special service.
A Dobbins Lifeboat from the Coos Bay, Oregon station the in surf. The Dobbins lifeboat was a lightweight lifeboat developed in 1881. It was 24 feet long, weighing from 1,600 to 2,000 pounds. It was self-righting and self-bailing and could carry up to 33 people safely. It was rowed by eight surfmen and steered by the keeper with a tiller. A Dobbins lifeboat appears in many photos on the Oregon coast, and it is believed that every Oregon station had one in addition to their surfboat by 1900. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.)