Life Lines February 2019

Happy Birthday, U.S. Coast Guard. 

Coast Guard on patrol near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. U.S. COAST GUARD AIR STATION TRAVERSE CITY/FACEBOOK

Originally created by the U.S. Congress in August 1790 as the Revenue Marine at the request of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, its original purpose was collecting customs duties in seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, but the modern Coast Guard came from merging the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Life-Saving Service on Jan. 28, 1915.

Welcome to Life Lines the monthly newsletter for our members, and also to anyone reading this that has not yet become a member 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

Publications Now Available as Print-on-Demand

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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.


Government Shutdown Affects U.S. Coast Guard Families

The Life Lines Editor was also affected by the government shutdown and I was moved and touched by family, friends, and my community who reached out to me to offer groceries, included me as a dinner guest in their homes, offered temporary employment, opportunities for assistance with bill paying and the availability of gift and gas cards through my local Community’s Emergency Fund. Every offer whether needed at that moment or not, meant the world to me as someone who didn’t know when they would see another paycheck.

It was heartening to see how many communities around the country also reached out to help the many Coast Guard families that were struggling.  My job may not be as heroic as those who serve in the Coast Guard, but it was morale busting to see how stressed this situation had become to those individuals that I personally would want feeling their best if I needed their assistance this time of year.

If you haven’t taken the time to search the web for stories where communities truly value the Coast Guard families who serve and live in their neighborhoods, please take the time to do so.  Some of the examples I found were Traverse City, Michigan, where Bayside Market collected donations of money and food from the community where Coast Guard families could come in and shop when needed at no cost to them.

Spaghetti Dinners provided at no cost to Coast Guard Families in the San Francisco Bay area by one of the local Yacht Clubs.

….along with food donations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Food Banks in Elizabeth City, North Carolina opened their doors for Coast Guard families to insure that they had enough food to feed their families.

Emergency Pop-Up Food Banks in Bourne, Massachusetts

……….and one of our own members assisted with donations in $20 increments so that $560 worth of gift cards could be purchased and distributed to his local Coast Guard Station on Cape Cod to those who were in need.

Thank you to all of the individuals, neighbors, organizations, communities who provided assistance, and may have called your senator and congressman to end this embarrassing event.  Let’s hope we are not in the same boat on February 15th.


Chatham Coast Guard Station Loses Surf Designation

Chatham Station Photo Credit: TIM WOOD PHOTO By: Tim Wood 29 December 2018

The home of the most famous surfboat crew in the history of the Coast Guard is no longer a surf station.   As of Dec. 10, Coast Guard Station Chatham’s designation was changed from a surf station to a heavy weather station. That means crews can only respond if surf on the bar is under eight feet, said Senior Chief Petty Officer Carlos Hessler, the officer in charge of the station.

Most fishermen are working out of Stage Harbor or Harwich for the winter, so the change is not likely to have an immediate impact, said Harbormaster Stuart Smith. But because Station Chatham has been a surf station going back to its establishment in 1872, the change is significant, he said.  “It’s not the end of the world, but it’s kind of a historic thing, because it’s always been a surf station,” Smith said.

If you would like to read more about this story go to the following link:

Coast Guard Honors Retired Surfman

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Chief Boatswain’s Mate Wayne M. Bauer, center, was inducted into the ranks of the service’s elite “Surfmen” during a ceremony at USCG Station Depoe Bay last week. Flanking Bauer were, left to right, BM1 Andrew Port, MKC (ret.) Paul Carver, BMCS Christopher Hinote and BMC Derek Seehagen. (Photo by Rick Beasley)

A living legend of the U.S. Coast Guard was saluted last week by a new generation of heroes.

Surrounded by the men and women of USCG Station Depoe Bay, retired Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Wayne M. Bauer, 73, was inducted into the elite ranks of the Surfmen, intrepid experts at driving motor lifeboats into the most harrowing conditions.  Click on the following link to read more about this story:

Coast Guard Training in Massive Surf Captured in Stunning Photos

Photo courtesy of It’s A Wild Life Photography by Dave Rogers

Again the internet is an amazing place to find some incredible photographs.  When enormous swells pound the California coast, the bravest surfers often grab the spotlight.

But in mid-December at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, with a building north swell attracting a handful of surfers and scores of spectators, all eyes were on the U.S. Coast Guard.  If you would like to see more of these heart pounding photographs go to the following link:

Rochester, New York is the Location for the 2019 Annual Conference

The 2019 Annual Conference and Meeting will be in Rochester, New York. The tentative dates are September 26-28, 2019.  Notice the change in date.  Rochester, NY was full the first week of October so the conference has moved into September.  Change your calendars and plan to attend.

Bus, hotel, annual dinner site selection are either decided or in the final stages.

The conference agenda will cover stations at Oswego, Niagara, and Buffalo.   Additional tours and programming are in the planning stages.  Watch this site and Wreck and Rescuefor more information. Mark your calendar now.

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

Also consider joining the Life Linesstaff.  We are now threeand 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.