Friday, July 19, 2019
The Pea Island Lifesavers - If ya didn't know, ya know now!
Folks love to say we can't swim! True. A lot of us can't. Laws set in place over the centuries, decades banned us from public pools and public beaches so, learning to swim wasn't big on our list of ish-to-do. Surviving was top priority. Other stuff was squeezed in as life permitted. Okay?
Hence, the PEA ISLAND LIFESAVERS (circa 1896) are a huge surprise to many in the U. S.
Pea Island, situated on the Outer Banks of North Carolina (my people! my people!) was the 1st life-saving station to have an all-Black team and the 1st station to have a Black commanding officier, keeper, Richard Etheridge.
As we cannot have nice things, per usual, five months after it opened, (FIVE FREAKIN' MONTHS!) the all-Black station was set a fire and burnt to the ground, Oh, I wonder why? And by whom, pray tell? It is truly a puzzlement!
You can read so much more about this amazing crew and amazing man at its helm at the links below. A documentary called RESCUE MEN is available now.. :
Years after his death, on August 3, 2102, the second of the Coast Guard's 154-foot Sentinel Class Cutters, USCOC Richard Etheridge (WPC-1102) was commissioned in his honor.
"Fire on the Beach" an excellent book about the origins of the lifesavers and Richard Etheridge