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The United States Life-saving Service--1880: predecessor to today's Coast Guard
by J. H. Merryman.
Story of chain of life-saving stations that once lined all U.S. coasts--Atlantic, Gulf, Great Lakes, Pacific--with rescue dramas, apparatus and technique used by heroic federal surfmen.
The U.S. Life-saving Service was at its heyday when this material was written in 1880. Shipping was a busy industry among the seaport cities, yet navigation was often unsure, and storms poorly predicted. Wrecks were all too common; ships in peril were even run toward shore to founder them where they would be closer to possible rescue. A chain of life-saving stations on all four U.S. coasts was therefore established to save lives. Accounts of heroism at these lonely outposts remain amazing--and chilling. Our author was chief inspector of the board examining these station's crews. He tells of the organization of the Service, the desperate need for the life saving function, of rescues, and of rescue methods and apparatus. Today many of these stations are maintained as historic reminders of past deeds, and several are in parks and/or include museums. Some provide demonstrations of how rescues were made in the surf and by lifeboats. Read this book and visit one or several of the stations on any coast for an appreciation of the life-saving service heritage. 79 period illustrations. 64 pages.
ISBN-10: 0-89646-071-1. ISBN-13: 978-0-89646-071-3. Order #: VIST0071 paper$6.95
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