Life Lines December 2020

Photo Credit: The Palm Beach Post. Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge

Article on Gilberts Bar House of Refuge for those who missed the 2014 Annual Conference in Stuart, Florida.

The web photo from the November Life Lines has been identified.  If you don’t remember the photo I will send you to the new U. S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association Website to refresh your memory. More importantly the new updated website that just went live.  Try out the new website.

There were 9 readers who responded to the question.  The answer to the photo is:  United States Coast Guard beach patrols drill with their sentry dogs at Hilton Head, South Carolina, United States, circa 1943.  Board Member, Tim Dring, also added:  At the time that the photo was taken, (the boat) was assigned to Station Sullivan’s Island, SC.  The CG beach patrols used dogs to sniff out any possible intruders that came ashore from enemy vessels. This photo was taken as a publicity photo down in the Carolinas during WWII to show how beach patrolmen might respond to a report of intruders on the beach.

If one of our readers has a photo or a lifesaving or coast guard related item they would like to have identified go to the website and post a photo.  It will appear in a future Life Lines.


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.


Chronology of Coast Guard History

If you were looking for a link to a chronology of Coast Guard History here is that link.


Wallops Beach Station Again Looking for a New Home

Photo Credit: NASA

This call will stay in Life Lines each month until we determine that the structures have been saved or time has run out and they have been demolished. If you can help please do so now.

The Wallops Beach Station in Virginia needs someone willing to take and move the structures from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility. Both the station and the tower could be yours. NASA will demolish the structure in 2021 to reduce their mandated allotted square footage, but there is still time. If someone is interested in moving these structures please contact:

Steve Taylor
Realty Specialist
NASA Wallops Flight Facility
Bldg N-161, Rm 135
Work: 757-824-1194
Cell: 503-317-0073


Hull Lifesaving Museum Announces Fall Activities

Hull Lifesaving Museum

Miniature Ships – Epic Stories: 2020 Ship Model Exhibition
Runs Through January 2021
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This exciting exhibition featuring ship and boat models will be open through January. One hour tours can be reserved Monday-Thursday, 11-12 noon, and Friday, Saturday & Sunday between 11-4 pm. For other times please contact the museum for availability at (781) 925-5433 or by email. There is so much to do this Holiday season so make your reservations early. Tickets can be reserved online through Eventbrite.

Museum tour donation: $8.00 Reserve Tickets


Wood Island Has a New (Old) Boat

Photo Credit: Wood island Life Saving Association. Mervin Roberts

A rare 1930s rescue craft has been acquired for Wood Island Station! It is called a “Type SR pulling surfboat” meaning it was a rowing boat. An inboard engine was added later. It was in Old Saybrook, CT but had been in service in Maine at Burnt Island Station near Point Clyde. It is named the Mervin F. Roberts after a former owner.

Mervin is 98 years old and he hosted WILSSA recently for lunch at his home to talk about the lovely 26 foot boat. He donated an art work for the future Wood Island Museum. The first selectman of Old Saybrook, Tim Griswold, is helping WILSSA raise funds to pay for the $6,750 expense from donations of friends and family of Mervin as a way to honor him. Mervin is well known and well loved in their community.

A national expert on these early Coast Guard boats has confirmed that there were only 110 ever made and only six are still known to exist. This one is the only one of its type that can still be used in the water! Wood Island Station plans to complete its historic marine railway restoration and use this boat to travel from the station into the water, just as was done when the station was in service. It will be the only marine railway connected to a life-saving station in the USA!

Even more exciting, evidence has just surfaced showing that one of these Type SR boats was at Wood Island! It is historically accurate. A perfect fit for the restored Wood Island Station. The boat is now at Pan Am Railways in Waterville Maine and it will be used to create the historic cradle to carry the boat while it travels on the railway!

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped bring this remarkable story to life! Can’t wait to see this beautiful boat on the Piscataqua River!


Cape Cod Ruins Near Coast Guard Beach

Photo Credit: Eric Williams Cape Cod Times

Someone else is solving picture mysteries, but this one on a beach on Cape Cod.  If you want to learn more about the sleuthing and the final Life-Saving Service identification go to the following website and read the story.

A reminder to send in your photos of mysterious objects, structures, photos, or boats related to the U.S. Life-Saving Service or the U.S. Coast Guard.  If you can’t identify it, I’m sure one of our readers can.


North Carolina is the Next Virtual 2021 Annual Conference

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Maritime Museum, Southport

The Committee has begun planning the 2021 Virtual/Hybrid annual meeting.  This year the North Carolina Maritime Museum and the Old Baldy Foundation will be our Virtual/Hybrid hosts.

Virtual activities will include speakers, site visits, interviews, a Virtual History Happy Hour, an online auction and more as we creatively think of it. 

Mark your calendars for the 2021 Conference, Southport, North Carolina on September 23-25, 2021.  We are in touch with the North Carolina conference planners and are monitoring the COVID-19 status in their State so those who feel safe making the trip will be able to.  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.