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Beach Apparatus Drill


The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association is pleased to offer this complimentary description of the U.S. Life-Saving Service’s Beach-Apparatus Drill published in 1883. Also provided is information on how to properly set up and display a Beach-Apparatus Cart as it would have been set-up per the service’s regulations in this document. Museums and other individuals looking to properly equip or display a beach cart can follow this information to accomplish an accurate display.

Download the Beach Apparatus Drill


Photo Above: Yaquina Bay.  Mondays and Thursdays were reserved for beach apparatus drill.  Here the crewmen are setting up a breeches buoy near the Yaquina Bay Life-Saving Station.  The keeper is firing a line with a small cannon, called a Lyle gun, towards a pole representing a mast of a stranded vessel 75 yards away.  The gun could fire the 17-pound projectile with accuracy up to an extreme range of 695 yards.  The life-savers would then erect a series of lines and pulleys to rig the breeches buoy to rescue stranded mariners.  A crew was expected to set up the breeches buoy in under five minutes and in the dark.  A proficient crew could set it up in two minutes and thirty seconds.  (Author’s Collection.)