“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The United States Life-Saving Service Stations & Crews

The Old Coast Guard Station Maritime Museum

The United States Life-Saving Service Stations & Crews Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 14, 2017
1. The United States Life-Saving Service Stations & Crews Marker
Inscription. In 1871 Congress created the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS), an organization dedicated to rescuing the men and woman whose ships wrecked off of the United States coast. The USLSS built a total of 285 stations across the country. Five stations serviced present-day Virginia Beach: Cape Henry, Seatack, Dam Neck Mills, Little Island, and False Cape. The original Seatack Life-Saving Station was built in 1878, and was located about 200 feet north of its current location. In 1903 the USLSS built a new larger station (this building) at Seatack and later renamed it the Virginia Beach Life-Saving Station.

The USLSS operated until 1915 when it merged with Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard decommissioned the Virginia Beach Life-Saving Station in 1969, the citizens of Virginia Beach saved the building from being torn down and turned it into a museum.

(top right) The stations were run by a Keeper and his crew of surfmen. At first, the stations were only manned in the “active season” (September to May) but it was soon determined an effective service needed to active year-round. The surfmen kept watch from the tower all day and night and patrolled the beach on foot. The USLSS had three requirements for working at a Life-Saving station: a man
Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, June 14, 2017
2. Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum
had to be of high moral character, physically capable of doing the job, and knowledgeable about the area.

(bottom right) The above photograph shows surfmen using the breeches buoy to rescue the crew of the ship. The breeches buoy was one of three methods of rescue used by the USLSS. The other two were the surfboat and the lifecar. From 1878 through 1915, the USLSS is credited with saving approximately 175,00o lives.
Erected by The Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission.
Location. 36° 51.139′ N, 75° 58.53′ W. Marker is in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and 24th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Located near the entrance to the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum, on the west side of the building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach VA 23451, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The War of 1812 / President – Little Belt Affair (a few steps from this marker); The Wreck of the Dictator and The Norwegian Lady Statue (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Naval Aviation Monument Park (about 500 feet away); Naval Air Station Oceana (about 500 feet away); Sister Cities (about 500 feet away); Neptune (approx. half a mile away); Neighborhood Alert! (approx. 0.6 miles away); Who's in the neighborhood? (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia Beach.
Also see . . .  Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. (Submitted on July 1, 2017.)
Categories. DisastersWaterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 30, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 30, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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