A SURFMAN'S SHORT STORY
By William L. Andres
The following communications give a glimpse into the life of a surfman. Now were it an ordinary surfman we should be pleased, but in this instance the personage is none other than Captain William Andres, therefore we are delighted.
To: Life Saving Service, 11th District
From: North Manitou Station, May 28, 1896
Attn: Captain N. Robbins, Supt. U.S. Life Saving District
Enclosed with this letter please find bill for one team which we used to draw the long branch boat across the island. It would be about 18 miles around the shortest way, so to make time we cut across. We left at 8:40 p.m., and arrived at the wreck at 11 p.m. and had the schooner crew ashore by midnight. I am most played out. We got back to the station at 5 a.m., having walked about 18 miles.
The captain of the little schooner gave me a little send off which I will mail to you in this letter.
The team was hired from Mr. Boardman and I think the price was quite reasonable. It was a heavy job.
The next morning I started with the "Rescue" taking the captain of the schooner over to Leland in order to get a message for a tug to pull him off, but the sea was so heavy we had to bail continuously, therefore, could not land and returned at 12:40 p.m. Later after the sea had gone down I sent No. 1 with two surfmen and the captain to "Rescue" in Leland, which they made alright, returning at midnight.
William L. Andres, Keeper
This is the letter Mr. Andres enclosed with his:
I wish to thank the U.S. Life Saving Service , also Captain William Andres and crew of North Manitou Life Saving Station for their prompt response in coming to our rescue May 27th at midnight, and bringing ashore of myself and my crew, five all told, and rendering all services possible in releasing my schooner from the beach, which is ashore on the west side of the island, seven miles from station.
William Glockner, Captain of the Schooner, "LaPetite" of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
From "We've Been There" by Esther Stormer ©1992 - Reprinted by Permission
Return to the Coast Guard Stories Page