The Hero of Pea Island Lifesaving Station

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center

The Pea Island Life Saving Station is traditionally vital associate degrees distinctive because it was the sole saving station within the United States to be manned by an all-black crew.

In the direction of Keeper Richard Etheridge, the staff was employed from native black men within the community and were skilled to be enthusiastic and reliable water men within the service of saving. the lads of Pea Island ne’er received any awards for rescues despite what number lives they saved. It wasn’t till 1996, a hundred years once the gallant rescue of the troop of the E. S. Newman in 1896, that the U.S. Coast Guard as a final point paid honor to the troop of the Pea Island Station.

The efforts of a fourteen-year recent lady, 2 authors, a U.S. legislator, and a diligent Coast Guard Officer resulted in the gold saving honor being awarded to those valorous men World Health Organization would ne’er recognize the respect was finally presented upon them.

A former slave and war veteran, Richard Etheridge, the sole adult male to guide a rescue crew – was its captain. He employed and skilled a troop of African Americans to man Station seventeen. Benjamin Bowser, Joe Louis Wescott, William Irving, St. George Pruden, Maxie Berry, and Herbert Collins created up a part of this team and shaped the sole all-black station within the Nation, though civilian attitudes towards Etheridge and his men ranged from curiosity to outrage, they patterned among the foremost spirited surf men within the service, performing arts several daring rescues from 1880 to the closing of the station in 1947.

The Pea Island crew saved a lot of men, girls and youngsters, who, beneath different circumstances would are thought-about the hands of these reaching bent facilitate them, to be of the incorrect race.

In 1896, once the three-masted schooner E.S. Newman broken throughout a cyclone, Etheridge and his men accomplished one in all the foremost daring rescues within the annals of the Life-Saving Service. The violent conditions had rendered their instrumentality useless.

Undaunted, the surfmen swam bent the wreck, creating 9 journeys all told and saving the whole crew. This unbelievable deed went unrecognized till 1996, once the Coast Guard posthumously awarded the crew the Gold Life-Saving award

Etheridge and his troops lay bare their lives to save masses of other people while not caring about what is the race of these they saved. Wouldn’t the planet be a much better place if everybody thought that way?

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