Life Lines May 2018

Plum Island Station Photo Credit Kimberly Mann

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 click here.

There are now four of us working on Life Lines. There is always room at Life Lines, if you are someone who likes to develop monthly, weekly, or daily blogs and would like to become another assistant of Life Lines please do so at and I will be happy to include you in the process. Assistance is always needed to locate stories that you think would be of interest and pass those on to the other co-editors, and we will include in an upcoming issue.

If you think you would like to be the organizing editor, the process is simple, there is web support, if you can handle a word processing program and know how to clip and paste and attach web links, this may be the volunteer opportunity for you. Your email will be added to the board’s list so that you too will be the first to read stories to select for each Life Lines posting. You can set your own schedule, publish as much as you want and as frequently as you wish. The minimum is at least once a month.

Now onto the news:

Plum Island

Plum Island
Photo Credit Tamra Thomsen

The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association awarded a $5000 grant to the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands in April to assist in the repair of the Crew Quarters Building. The project discovered some unexpected damage caused by water runoff from the roof that caused severe damage and compromised the structure of the roof and wall system requiring complete reconstruction from the foundation to the roof. This was work that was not anticipated and the funds by the USLSSHA and a $1650 match from the Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands will put this project back on track for restoration.

If you would like to know more about this organization, please check out their most recent newsletter. (

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association Grant

The USLSSHA is now in a position to offer small grants. We have budgeted $5000 per year. The application process will soon be online. The application has been developed and a committee to review applications will be established. If you have a project in mind the next funding cycle will be for 2019. Once the form is online it will be announce in an issue of Life Lines.

Active U.S. Coast Guard

Something new I would like to try is to add a story each month concerning today’s Coast Guard, and this month includes the Reserves. If you have a story please consider submitting it for distribution. It doesn’t have to relate to historical events, just be newsworthy and of interest to the group.

Coast Guard Compass, The Official Blog of the USCG

Photo Credit

The U.S. Lighthouse Society News latest email included this article reprinted from the Reservist Magazine, Issue 2, 2018, by Lt. Brendan Rogers, Coast Guard 8th District Reserve Management. The article was on the professional history of Sumner Kimball and his place in history with the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Most of our members will know much of the story, but even I found information I didn’t know before I read this article. A number of board members who received the notice from the U.S. Lighthouse Society commented on the story and wanted to insure others were able to see it and read it. If you have not seen it, click on this link ( to read the article.

Annual Meeting Nags Head, North Carolina News:
What You Have Been Waiting For Is Here!!

Photo courtesy Chicamacomico website

The Annual Conference reservation system is now online at the website. Please check out the itinerary, there are a number of stations that we will see as a group during the conference. I believe my last count was 9 during the conference dates October 11-13, 2018. The current USCG station at Oregon Inlet will also be providing our group with a tour of their station as well. The planning committee has contacted federal, state, local non-profits, businesses, and private owners who have all graciously invited our group to stop by for a tour, or just stop and take photos and come by later to shop or have dinner in their businesses.

Again this year, I am offering a free prize to the first person who is able to use the website successfully to register. This lucky person gets to check to see if there are any bugs in the system that we need to fix before others attempt to log in and fail. I have a copy of They Had to Go Out that I will donate to the first brave sole that will attempt to and successfully register for the Nags Head, North Carolina conference. If you run into glitches please respond via the comment box and we will respond and fix any problems you may find.

Please take a close look at the Pre-Conference and the Post-Conference opportunity to visit and tour 3 additional stations that are difficult to get to. The committee has made arrangements to make these stations available, and also open to tour the inside. If you have time and would like to see the Wash Woods Station on October 10, and the Portsmouth and Cape Lookout Stations, October 14 – 16, please send a message to [email protected] so that plans can be finalized for those additional trips as well.

These three stations are either private on a 4 wheel track road (no private vehicles), or require ferry rides with beach transport and NPS Tour Guides to enter the structures. All three site managers have been contacted and there is interest to assist us and providing access with tour guides at each of these sites.

Please send an email by June 30 if you think you would like to extend your trip to include these Pre- and Post- Conference stations during your time in North Carolina. More specifics will be provided when you indicate your interest to participate in either the Pre- or Post- Conference side trips.

Nags Head, North Carolina Annual Conference
Additional Information

The Annual Conference of the United States U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association will be held in Nags Head, North Carolina from Thursday, October 11 through Saturday, October 13, 2018.

The cost for the full conference is $190 including the annual dinner, and daily rates are $75 for each day plus add $50 if you want to attend the annual dinner. The annual dinner will be held at the Black Pelican Restaurant which is the former 1874 Kitty Hawk Life-Saving Station.

A Breeches Buoy demonstration at the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station is planned, as well as tours of the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Little Kinnakeet Life-Saving Station, Oregon Inlet, Bodie Inlet, Pea Island Station, and Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. We’ll visit the Pea Island Cookhouse, Roanoke Island Festival Park, Fort Raleigh and other sites. There will also be opportunities to meet descendants of many of the historic lifesaving families on the Outer Banks. Check out the itinerary on the website for the full conference schedule and list of activities.

Fifteen rooms are being held for our October meeting at the Comfort Inn South Oceanfront Hotel, Nags Head, NC. Five rooms are being held for each of the following 3 prices: 2 double beds, ocean side $159.00/night; 2 double beds, sound side $109.00/night; king bed, ocean side $159.00/night. Add tax for all rooms. Reservations must be made by September 10, 2018. Call the front desk, 252-441-6315, and say you are attending the meeting of the US Life-Saving Service Heritage Association. These 15 rooms are going fast so don’t wait until the last minute and have to scramble for alternative accommodations.

Information is now posted on the website for the annual conference. If you are a member you will receive a notice in your mail box. If you are not a member, please consider joining our group. Be the first to get the news, and we would like to see you in North Carolina and personally welcome you to the organization. Here is the link to sign up as a new member

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. We are now four 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.