Life Lines October 2021

Life Lines

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association

October 2021

Photo courtesy of TBA News Montauk Point, New York

September marks the beginning of meteorological autumn, and in October it’s time to bid farewell to summer and embrace the magnificence of the fall.

Annual Conference 2021 Update

Photo courtesy of Friends of North Carolina Maritime Museum, Beaufort

Thank you to the Historic Wilmington Foundation, Old Baldy Foundation, and North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport for hosting the 2021 USLSSHA Conference on September 23 – 25, 2021. 

The conference included 3 days of presentations that are now available for viewing on the USLSSHA Facebook page.  The presentations on Facebook explore the USLSS History in Southeastern North Carolina that includes Oak Island Life-Saving Station and modern U.S. Coast Guard Station, the history of the USLSS in Southport and Oak Island, the Cape Fear Life-Saving Station on Bald Head Island, and the Cape Lookout Life-Saving Stations.  To view the posts go to and scroll down to each presentation.

USLSS Grave Markers Placed at Maple Grove Cemetery near Empire, MI


Photo credit:  Claude Fields


Board member Tim Dring assisted volunteer cemetery and gravestone restorer, Claude Fields, in identifying the first 4 former U.S. Life-Saving service surfman in the Maple Grove Cemetery just north of Empire, Michigan on M109.  The volunteer was able to reach out to USLSSHA treasurer Dick Ryder who provided information on where to secure bronze cemetery flag plagues for the first two graves. 

Empire Heritage Group was able to put a call out to their members who made donations to cover the cost of these markers and with enough money so far collected to be able to survey additional cemeteries in the area to place additional USLSS and USCG markers on additional gravesite.  Anyone in the Empire Area that knows of additional surfman who served with the USLSS or USCG should contact the Empire Area Heritage Group and provide information on those surfman and where they are buried.

Pea Island Life-Saving Service 125th Anniversary of the Newman Rescue

Newman rescue painting, entitled “Pea Island Lifesaving Crew Makes a Rescue” by Roy la Grone.

On October 11, 1896, a most remarkable rescue by the most remarkable crew of the U.S. Life-Saving Station No. 17 Pea Island took place, which became a pedestal of honored U.S. Coast Guard achievements.

On the night of October 11, 1896, the three-masted schooner E. S. Newman ran hard aground somewhere near the Pea Island Station at 7:00 p.m. in the middle of a hurricane, with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour.

These torrents of wind enraged the Atlantic, producing gigantic waves, and pushing ocean waters clear to the Pamlico Sound. It’s said that there was literally no visible land — the island was completely awash.

The ocean was far too violent to launch the surfboat, so the crew manned the only other rescue equipment they had — the beach cart with the Lyle gun and breeches buoy.

But when the cart reached the bottom of the ramp of the station, it mired down into several feet of overwash. With seemingly superhuman effort, the six surfmen, pushing and pulling their two-ton cart by manpower alone, sloshed through the tide and spindrift until they reached the wreck site.  If you would like to read more about “The Miraculous Rescue that was not by the Book”  go to

Annual Conference 2022:  Ocean City, New Jersey

Photo Credit:  Andrew Hink

Planning has begun for the 2022 annual conference that will be held in Ocean City, New Jersey.  Information will be posted on the U.S. Life-Saving Service website and here on Life Lines in upcoming issues.

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