Oct 11

Pea Island Lifesaving Crew’s Daring Rescue – 11 October 1896

Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:01 AM

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The schooner E.S. Newman ran aground about two miles south of the Pea Island, North Carolina, life-saving station after losing it’s sails and drifting about 100 miles during a hurricane on October 11, 1896. Under the command of Keeper, Richard Etheridge, the crew of the station hitched mules to a beach cart and rushed towards the ship where the captain and eight others were clinging to the wreck.

Keeper Etheridge and crew of Pea Is

 

A Lyle’s gun could not deploy a line to the victims so Etheridge ordered two surfmen to tie themselves together and swim through the heavy seas toward the wreck while carrying another line which was secured by the other surfmen at the beach. The two reached the E. S. Newman and rescued the survivors one at a time by tying a line onto each of them and being pulled back together to the beach by the crew ashore.

Working as a team, after each trip to the wreck, two different surfmen replaced the returning life-savers and all eight survivors were rescued. The crew of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station were posthumously awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal in 1996.

Lifesaving Gold Medal

United States First Class Lifesaving Gold Medal