They Chose To Serve
No matter what else happened in their daily lives, the surfmen and keepers of the United States Life-Saving Service lived for - and feared - shipwrecks. The adrenaline-pumping first few moments after the words "Wreck ashore!" rang out reaffirmed for each man why he had chosen this career.
The noble nature of the work, the chance to wrestle lives from the grips of the sea, to save a life, enflamed the spirit. Sometimes those rescues were completely successful; sometimes victims succumbed; sometimes the rescuers themselves needed rescue. The following shipwreck stories get down to the basics of the Life-Saving Service and its mission: to save the lives of men and women imperiled upon the sea.
Region – East Coast
Region – Great Lakes
Region – Pacific Coast
How Many People Will a Lifeboat Hold?
By Ralph Shanks (Wreck & Rescue - Volume 1, Number 4)
Daily Station Life
The daily life of the sailors of the US Life-Saving Service has been documented. Read what life was like for each one of them!
Beach Apparatus Drill
The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association is pleased to offer a complimentary description of the U.S. Life-Saving Service’s Beach-Apparatus Drill published in 1883.