Annual Appeal

30 November 2016

The U. S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association had another successful year—our twenty first! The number of memberships and the number of sponsored Coast Guard Stations are up. The fourth issue of Wreck and Rescue Journal will be in the mail soon. And we had an excellent Annual Meeting in Louisville, site of the floating Life-Saving Station No. 10 at the Falls of the Ohio.

Over the last few years we have reestablished financial stability. We are able to meet our obligations and have a little left over for projects. This year we were able to offer a small grant to the Hull Life-Saving Museum. These funds will be used to help restore the CG 36501 and the marine railway and old Coast Guard boathouse where it will be stored.

The Board of Directors would like to extend our Mission-directed efforts: to preserve the history, structures, and artifacts of the U. S. Life-Saving Service and the early Coast Guard, and promote public education of this maritime heritage. For 2017 the Board has committed to the following projects:

  1. Vermilion Life-Saving Station. This 1876 structure is the last remaining of the Lake Superior-type stations, which were located at the south-east end of the Lake. For many years Grace and Steve Truman have actively pursued preservation of this historically important station and are now in the process of forming a non-profit organization dedicated to that purpose. We are committed to help with the startup of this organization and its preservation efforts.
  2. Digitalization of National Motor Lifeboat School videos. The school is in possession of many training videos in a variety of forms. We have committed our help in financing digitalization and dissemination of the videos.
  3. National Coast Guard Museum. Our Association is taking on a major role in the planning of exhibits, representing not only the Life-Saving Service but the small boat Coast Guard Stations as well. The museum is due to open in New London, CT in about 2020.
  4. Membership Directory. We will be updating and re-issuing our directory, last published in 2006.

How much we are able to assist with these (and other) projects will depend on our fund raising efforts. Dues, our major source of income, covers our basic expenses, but by themselves are insufficient to fund these important projects. So we need your help! During this traditional season of giving, please consider making a donation to the U. S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. All contributions are fully tax deductible. Thank you very much for your consideration and whatever support you can provide.

For the Board of Directors,

Timothy Dring

Coos Bay, lifeboat in surf.TIF
Life Saving Service Photos: Surfboats file

Photo Left: 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.)

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Wreck & Rescue

We publish an information-packed quarterly magazine,Wreck & Rescue, detailing the many accounts of desperate shipwrecks and saving lives, it includes preservation updates among many other topics.
Through this information flow, readers of Wreck & Rescue  can keep abreast of preservation developments concerning a number of ‘at risk’ station sites. Major articles are published that educate the membership about the heroic events of yesteryear’s Keepers and Surfmen, as well as today’s U.S. Coast Guard.