Article Explores History of U.S. Life-Saving Service

1906 postcard captioned, The start of the life-boat, Cape Cod
1906 postcard captioned, The start of the life-boat, Cape Cod

Seacoast Online: Back before President Woodrow Wilson created the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915, stations dotting the nation’s coastlines and the Great Lakes were established to aid mariners in distress.

These stations were operated by the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

The hardy members of this agency were called surfmen, and each station was headed by the keeper. When vessels ran aground or wrecked close to shore, these “storm warriors” would venture out into the sea in lifeboats to rescue crew and passengers.

Read more about the U.S. Life-Saving Service, predecessor of the Coast Guard.