Today in Coast Guard History – February 5th

  • 1882- The schooner Mary L. Vankirk, bound for Philadelphian from South Creek, Pamlico Sound, NC. carrying a crew of five men, encountered heavy weather. She lost sails and sprung a leak, so that before long she became water-logged and almost unmanageable. In this condition it was determined to run to leeward and seek refuge in Hatteras Inlet. Matters, however, became worse and it was decided to beach the vessel. She was discovered heading for the land by the crew of Station No. 18, Sixth District (Chicamicomico, NC. The surfboat was run out, but the life-saving crew returned to the station for the breeches-buoy apparatus. The latter arrived abreast of the schooner at 8:15, fifteen minutes after she struck the bar about half a mile north of the station. The schooner was so close that the keeper was able to wade out into the water and cast a heaving-line to those huddled in the rigging. As quickly as possible, the men in the rigging hauled off the whip-line. The breeches-buoy was soon rigged and went spinning out to the vessel. All five men were safely landed.
  • 1946- Four Coast Guardsmen from Willapa Harbor Lifeboat Station perished while searching for two crab fishermen feared lost in Williapa Bay. The men were: BMC Joseph W. Miller, USCG; MM 1/c Geloyd J. Simmons, USCG; Coxswain James R. Graves, USCG; S 1/c Howard W. Hampton, USCG.
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