Coast Guard to hold remembrance ceremony in Pleasantville, N.J.

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -The Coast Guard Station at Atlantic City, New Jersey.  U. S. COAST GUARD PHOTO

Coast Guard Photo

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. – The Coast Guard will hold a remembrance ceremony at the Atlantic City Cemetery, here, scheduled for 10 a.m., Sunday.

The ceremony is for current Coast Guardsmen from Coast Guard Station Atlantic City, N.J., to formally recognize the efforts of members of the station during a search and rescue mission on March 6, 1932, when only one of the six rescuers survived the mission.

On that day, southern New Jersey was feeling the effects of a nor’easter, which brought to the area 60-knot winds and rain mixed with snow. The crew of Station Atlantic City received a distress call that the fishing vessel Anna, underway in a nearby fishing area, was lost.

The commanding officer of the station took two of his surfmen and launched aboard a 30-foot wooden boat to respond. While still on their way to the fishing area, the boat capsized. Employees at the Steel Pier, a nearby amusement area, saw the men in the water and reported the accident to the station. The commanding officer made it ashore and was hospitalized for days before he recovered.

Going to the aid of their crewmates, three more surfmen launched aboard a 28-foot power surfboat. After entering the 18-foot seas, the surfboat and its crew were never seen or heard from again. The body of William R. Garton, 19, was the only one that was recovered.

“This tragedy reminds us of just how dangerous and unforgiving our operating environment can be during these violent nor’easters,” said Lt. Jeffrey Craig, commanding officer of Station Atlantic City. “While technology and training have increased our capabilities and proficiency, our young and extremely dedicated men and women continue to face the same dangers that were present during this case in 1932.”

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