Life Lines July 2020

Photo Credit: Cape Cod Times photographer Merrily Cassidy this spring during a light rain. It was entitled “Hushed Tones”.

Welcome to Life Lines the monthly newsletter for 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


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.


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


USLSSHA Looking for Lesson Plans and Educational Guides

Photo Credit: National Park Service

Does your museum or facility have educational material relevant to the US Lifesaving Service history? We are updating our Educational Resources website page and would be happy to review your submissions for reference on our website. Please include proprietary and copyright information as necessary. Links to online resources are preferred, but if you have large files just send a short description and contact information and our Education Committee will reach out to you. Please send responses to


New Coast Guard Publication

Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

There is a brand new publication called Long Blue Line. It is a quarterly magazine for USCG Retirees. It has a ton of interesting stuff in it. Check out


Coast Guard to Honor Four Crewmembers From Sector Humboldt Bay That Died During A Rescue Mission 23 Years Ago


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Images Courtesy of USCG Sector Humboldt Bay

[/twocol_one_last]The Coast Guard honors the sacrifice of four crew members lost at sea in 1997 off the coast of Cape Mendocino. Twenty-three years ago on June 8, 1997, four Coast Guard helicopter crew members were lost in an effort to rescue mariners in distress approximately 60 miles west of Cape Mendocino.

Crewing the Sector Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter (CG-6549) were: Lt. Jeffrey F. Crane, 35, of Marshfield, Massachusetts (CG Aviator #3188); Lt. j. g. Charles W. Thigpen IV, 26, of Riverside (CG Aviator #3310); Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard L. Hughes, 33, of Black Canyon, Arizona; Petty Officer 3rd Class James G. Caine, 26, of Hinesville, Georgia (CG Rescue Swimmer #425).

The Canadian sailing vessel, Ezara-2, contacted the Coast Guard reporting they had five people aboard and their vessel had become disabled in 25-foot seas and 45-knot winds.

Two Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopters, a Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-130 Hercules aircraft and the Coast Guard Cutter Edisto responded to the call.

The helicopters provided the Ezara-2 with radios and a sea anchor, which stabilized the sailing vessel. Some of the Ezara-2’s crewmembers were injured and the boat was damaged due to heavy seas, forcing the Ezara-2 crew to abandon ship into a life raft.

The CG-6549 crew began an instrument-guided approach to the last known position of the life raft when the HC-130 lost sight and communications with the helicopter in the darkness and heavy winds.

The Edisto arrived on scene through heavy seas and recovered all of the Ezara-2’s survivors from the life raft and began searching for the CG-6549.

Aircraft crews from Coast Guard Air Stations North Bend and Astoria, Navy P-3 patrol planes and Air Force HC-130 rescue airplanes joined in the search. On the water, Coast Guard Cutters Sapelo, Buttonwood, Steadfast and Boutwell aided in the search.

Scattered debris from the helicopter was located in the area and the main fuselage was recovered on the ocean floor over a month later. The crew of the 6549 was lost at sea.

“It is important for us to remember this crew and honor their sacrifice by continuing to stand the watch,” said Capt. Mark Hiigel, the Sector Humboldt Bay commander.


Kittery, Maine Looks to be Going Virtual for the 2020 Annual Conference


Due to COVID-19, the Board of Directors of the United States Life-Saving Service Heritage Association voted to cancel the “in-person” Annual Conference scheduled for September 24 – 26, 2020. Instead the board is in discussion with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network to host a joint virtual conference since their annual meeting is the three days prior. We are working on putting an agreement in place to assist our group in hosting a joint virtual conference that would include the presentations by the selected speakers with a questions and answer session. The presentations will be followed by an online annual meeting. Stay tuned for more information.

The board is researching options for virtual conferencing and if you have experience being a web host for similar events and would like to help the board please contact us.

The on-site meeting in Kittery, Maine will be rescheduled in the future.

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.