Breeches Buoy Demonstration at the Indian River Life-Saving Station

by Dave on June 19, 2009

Breeches Buoy Demonstration at the Indian River Life-Saving Station

Thursday, June 25 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm

See history come to life at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum! Museum interpreters dressed in period uniform will reenact one of the most exciting and significant shipwreck life-saving techniques of our beach community’s past.

The United States Life-Saving Service—a forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard—was established in the 1870s and was used to launch rescue missions and assist victims of shipwrecks along America’s coastline. For the fearless men employed in the service, the ‘breeches buoy’ system was the most technologically advanced as well as the safest method for retrieving passengers and cargo from stranded vessels.

Using a small cannon to fire a line out to a wreck pole (meant to simulate the mast of a stranded ship), staff will rig up a ‘breeches buoy’ system with which they can bring “shipwreck victims” safely back down to the ground. This is the very drill the surfmen of the Indian River Life-Saving Station would practice routinely on the same beaches over one hundred years ago.

Today, the Indian River Life-Saving Station in Delaware Seashore State Park is one of only three sites in the country which re-creates this rescue demonstration for the public. To witness this historical life-saving event for yourself, come to the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum which is located on Route 1, 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet. The cost for this program (which includes a tour of the museum) is $6.50 for adults, $4.00 for youth (ages 6-12), $5.50 for seniors (age 62 and older), and free for children (ages 5 and under). Pre-registration is not necessary. For more information about this or other programs at the Indian River Life-Saving Station, call 302-227-6991.

{ 1 comment }

Rita Condo June 30, 2009 at 6:36 am

Is there a demonstration on July 5 at 1:00 and is there a fee.

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