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"whip line," and by that the hawser. These have tally boards with printed instructions for their use; and when the lawser is made fast on the ship, the
ber of people. The way a lifeboat bails itself is by means of relieving tubes running down from the deck through the bottom of the boat. When a sea dashes on board, the deck being higher than the outside water, that taken on board runs down the relieving tubes by force of gravity, and the boat is thus constantly kept free. Some of our surfboats are also self-bailers and self-righters. The self-bailing quality is probably the best feature a boat can have; without it she is liable to be swamped at any moment, and is always handicapped.
The Breeches Buoy
bridge between the ship and the shore. The Lyle gun first throws over the wreck a projectile, with a small but very strong cord attached. This gun—the only piece of ordnance that shoots to save—de
STEAMER "PERE MARQUETTE," STRANDED NEAR ENTRANCE
TO HARBOR OF LUDINGTON, MICH.
Brecches Luoy in Operation. shore end is anchored, and set up over a tripod. The breeches buoy is slung to the hawser by a traveler block, and at
persons. Thousands have been safely landed in this ingenious way when no other was possible.
The Life-Car The life-car is a little iron boat, covered over, and capable of containing five or six persons. It may be run on the
loss of life; but the patrol system has eliminated this horror, wrecks being now discovered within a few minutes after their occurrence, sometimes on the very instant. The patrolman quickly burns his signal-a message of hope to the shipwrecked, and of alarm to the station —and the crew turns out promptly, while the ever-ready telephone summons assistance if need be from neighboring stations. Patrol duty is always arduous, and, in the bad winter weather, is extremely severe and dangerous. The arrangement of the watches is necessarily such that no man ever has a whole night in bed. Quite a large number of patrolmen have perished on the stormy pathway, and a great many have suffered serious injuries; but the inestimable utility of the patrol system has been demonstrated over and over again.
One night in February, 1880, three life-saving crews rescued the crews of four wrecks on the New Jersey coast, without the slightest mishap, while everything and everybody was coated with ice and the weather was pitch dark. In September, 1889, three crews near Cape Henlopen, Delaware, rescued every person (194) from 22 stranded vessels,
from that point saved the lives of two men. At Buffalo, N. Y., three years ago, Keeper Griesser performed one of the most extraordinary feats of swimming of modern times, carrying a lifeline, with which he effected an extremely difficult rescue.
and in doing so made use of every known means of saving life from shipwreckthe boat, the breeches buoy, and the lifecar. Four crews on the same coast at tended 65 wrecks during the years 1888 and 1889, rescuing 499 persons. During the first seven years of the present system on the Jersey coast, there were 180 disasters, involving 1,909 lives, of which only 18 were lost. During the entire history of the present Service on that coast, only one life has been lost of every, 133 imperiled.
Heroic Deeds Many of the rescues have called out most noble acts of heroism. Just before davbreak during a hurricane on the North Carolina coast, patrolman Midgett, alone, two miles away from his station, rescued 10 men, one by one, at the jeopardy of his own life in each instance. On the same coast, volunteers were once wanted to go to a wreck in the breeches buoy, under very desperate conditions. There were 21 surfmen on the beach ; and when two were called for, 21 stepped forth and contended to the point of acrimony for the privilege of making that frightful trip. Some years ago, Fred Hatch, of Cleveland, Ohio, made a
AMERICAN BRIG WATER WITCH, WRECKED MARCH 19, 1896, ON BRENTON'S POINT, RHODE ISLAND. mighty leap one dark and tempestuous lives in saving the lives of others in night, from the main boom of a sub- waters over which the United States has merged wreck to the mizzen shrouds, jurisdiction. In several instances, women which he succeeded in reaching, and have been the recipients of these honors. GERMAN STEAMER GLUCKAUF, 2,306 TONS, WRECKED MARCH 24, 1893, ON LONG ISLAND COAST.
All aboard were rescued. This picture was taken October 1, 1894, one and one-half years after the wreck.
America, who has saved many lives in the Service for the last year was $1,721,727, vicinity of Narragansett Bay, where she which is less than one-fourth the amount is now a lighthouse keeper.
of property saved during that time, and The crews of stations comprising 6 or 7 men, dwell in the station houses, which are models of comfort and convenience ; and the boat rooms amply accommodate , the boats and appliances, which are always ready for instant service. In the exact sense in which we use the words “life-saving station," there is no such thing anywhere else in the world, the socalled stations of other countries being simply boat-houses, without living quarters or permanent crews. Nor is there any other life-saving establishment in the world maintained solely by Government, all save ours being supported wholly or mainly by contribution.
There are now about 2,000 men in the Life-Saving stations of the United States; and these watchful outposts of humanity stretch from Quoddy Head on the North Atlantic to Cape Disappointment on the North Pacific, as well as along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico B-Silver LiFe-Saving MEDAL, AWARDED For Distinand the Great Lakes. Under the present system (since November, 1871), the not so much, by $200,000, as one-fourth Service has attended 14,076 disasters, in- the estimated cost of the latest type of volving 102,474 lives, of which only one battleship ready for service.