This Day in Coast Guard History – October 11
1896- The crew of the Pea Island (North Carolina) Life-Saving Station, under the command of Keeper Richard Etheridge, performed one of their finest rescues when they saved the passengers and crew of the schooner E.S. Newman, after that ship ran aground during a hurricane. Pushed before the storm, the ship lost all sails and drifted almost 100 miles before it ran aground about two miles south of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station. Etheridge, a veteran of nearly twenty years, readied his crew. They hitched mules to the beach cart and hurried toward the vessel. Arriving on the scene, they found Captain S. A. Gardiner and eight others clinging to the wreckage. Unable to fire a line because the high water prevented the Lyle Gun’s deployment, Etheridge directed two surfmen to bind themselves together with a line. Grasping another line, the pair moved into the breakers while the remaining surfmen secured the shore end. The two surfmen reached the wreck and tied a line around one of the crewmen. All three were then pulled back through the surf by the crew on the beach. The remaining eight persons were carried to shore in this fashion. After each trip two different surfmen replaced those who had just returned. For their efforts the crew of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station were awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal in 1996.
1897-Property saved at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. During a severe storm the surf threatened to wash away a fish house, with valuable nets and other gear. Surfmen saved the property and took it to a place of safety. They also assisted lighthouse keeper to remove lenses of beacon to secure place. The lighthouse was in danger of being washed down by the sea.
(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)