Life Lines, December 2019

U.S. Life Saving Service Heritage Association
December 2019

A USCG vessel from the USCG Station Oswego delivers Santa to the West Pier at a previous event.

Happy Holidays and welcome to Life Lines the monthly newsletter for our members of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association.  For those of you reading and have yet to join, please consider doing so. Your membership will get you access to the station inventory link and our new venture to create a “Surfmans’ Data Base.”   If you would like to join please go to

Other ways you can support our organization is to volunteer your time to one of the committees.

Marketing/Outreach Committee is looking for more volunteers to help with membership, annual conference attendance, networking with active Coast Guard, helping to develop brochures and rack cards, and interact on social media for the organization.  If you are interested in helping with this committee please contact us at

Publications Now Available as Print-on-Demand

The two books that the USLSSHA produced are now available by print-on-demand at  Search for either “They Had to Go Out” or “Rescue: The Stories of the U.S. Life-Saving Service” edited by John Galluzzo.  If you have not added these two books to your library here is your chance to do so.

The two books that the USLSSHA produced are now available by print-on-demand at  Search for either “They Had to Go Out” or “Rescue: The Stories of the U.S. Life-Saving Service” edited by John Galluzzo.  If you have not added these two books to your library here is your chance to do so.

Chronology of Coast Guard History

If you were looking for a link to a chronology of Coast Guard History here is that link.  I will leave it permanently on Life Lines for you to access each month. I found this really useful and interesting.

Westport an Official Coast Guard City USA

DAN HAMMOCK | GRAYS HARBOR NEWS GROUP Westport has been designated as an official Coast Guard City USA. There will be an official designation celebration Feb. 7.

The City of Westport has had a relationship with the Coast Guard for more than 120 years and the community’s welcoming support over the years got it recognized as an official Coast Guard City USA, the first in Washington State.

“The City of Westport has grown up with the Coast Guard, and it has always been at the core of our community,” said Mayor Rob Bearden. “We look forward to carrying on that legacy and for being recognized by the Coast Guard Cities program for our city’s long standing considerations and continued welcoming of the Coast Guard family and its dependents.”

There are currently 26 cities with the designation. Westport will be the first in Washington State. There are three in Oregon: Florence, Newport and Astoria.

If you would like to read more please go to

Casey Sherman Evaluates the Heroic Rescue of the Pendleton Crew, 1952

Photo Credit: Greg Ketchen, president of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum (Courtesy photo). The rescuers return to Chatham. Photo by Richard C. Kelsey, courtesy Cape Cod Community College.

Casey Sherman recently provided his perspective on the event, his book, and with his discussions with Bernie Webber on the event and his place in history.  If you want to read more about this story go to

Surfman Proud of Being in an Elite Group

Photo Credit: William Clanton

Graham Sahli has a job that only 140 people in the country have – he’s a U.S. Coast Guard surfman. When the petty officer at the Barnegat Light Coast Guard Station takes an excursion into the ocean, it’s certainly not for pleasure, as surfmen are Coast Guard personnel specially authorized to operate surf boats under extreme weather and sea conditions.

“To be a surfman, not only do you need a lot of boating and swimming skills, but you must have good judgment, courage, patience and leadership,” Sahli recently told an audience at the Long Beach Island Branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City during a program about his job. “It’s hard for me to figure what was the toughest part of the training, but when you were finished, you knew you were part of an elite group. It’s the pinnacle of seamanship.”

To be awarded the very prestigious Surfman Badge, a service member must undergo training in dangerous surf conditions, accumulate a minimum number of hours operating in these conditions while conducting practical exercises and undergo a rigorous underway check ride as well as an oral review board. The process to qualify for a Surfman Badge requires at least eight years of training and experience.

If you would like to read more go to:

Longtime supporter still at the helm of Virginia Surf & Rescue Museum’s annual Pig Fest

Photo Credit: The 38th annual Pig & Oyster Nov. 24 at 24th Street Park in Virginia Beach to benefit the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum. (Cindy Butler Focke/Freelance / The Virginian-Pilot)

Frank Malbon warned his wife, Ann, he’d be a little bit busy the month after they got married in 1982, because he was in charge of a fundraiser for the Maritime Historical Museum.

Fast-forward to the upcoming 38th annual Pig & Oyster Fest Nov. 24 in the 24th Street Park, and Malbon is still running the show to benefit what is now the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum.  Malbon grew up in Virginia Beach. “That’s why I got involved, because my family has roots here,” he said.

The first Pig Fest took place that same year on Fort Story. Malbon took charge the next year and hasn’t stopped since. The event moved next door to the museum 11 years ago.  If you would like to read more go to

Kittery, Maine is the Next Destination for the 2020 Annual Conference

Photo courtesy of the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association

The 2020 Annual Conference and Meeting will be in and around Kittery, Maine and will include stations between Nahant, Massachusetts along the coast of New Hampshire and to the southern edge of Maine.   The dates are September 24-26, 2020.  Mark your calendars and save some time to make the trip. 

Watch this site and Wreck and Rescue for more information.

If you have a story to submit for the next Life Lines please contact us through our website.

Also consider joining the Life Lines staff.  If you would like to be the editor or would like to assemble a few of the issues a year, the help would be welcome.  We are now three and more are welcome to join us.  If you wanted to have a role or contribute to the organization this is your opportunity to do so.