Lest we forget our heritage or want our seabag contaminated with sand: Lest we forget our heritage or want our seabag contaminated with sand..............

SURFMEN AND SAND TALES

From Various Sources

"The statement of the Officer in Charge that he did not try to use the boat because the sea or surf was too heavy will not be accepted " - Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations - 1934.

Until 1880 the Life Saving Service was made up entirely of volunteers. The candidates had to be able bodied and experienced surfmen and reside near the station at which they were employed. They had to be younger than 45 years of age at the time of enlistment, be able to read and write and have knowledge of the four rules of arithmetic. They also had to possess a thorough knowledge of surfboats.

Civil Service did not provide retirement for service personnel. It was not until 1915 that the older men received any benefits.

THE SURFMAN

He's a rigger, a rower, swimmer, sailor and undertaker.
And he's good at everyone of 'em the same.....
And he risks his life for others in the quicksands and the breakers.
And a thousand wives and mothers bless his name.
He's an angel dressed in oilskins, he's a saint in a "so'wester"
He's as plucky as they make, or even can
He's a hero born and bred, but it hasn't swelled his head
And he's just the U.S. Gov'ments hired hand 

- Extracted from "We've Been There", by Esther V. Stormer, Copyright 1992

 

All surfmen were required to wear life preservers made of cork so they wouldn't drown. At the same time they were required to wear hip boots, which assured that they would drown if the boots filled with water.

Extracted from "We've Been There", by Esther V. Stormer.

 

Return to Coast Guard Stories