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You Have To Go Out, You Don't Have To Come Back...

National Park Service
Sunday, October 17, 2010

While those who know of the U.S. Life-Saving Service might associate it only with national seashores such as Cape Cod, Cape Hatteras, and Cape Lookout, it also operated at national lakeshores, such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

This image is of a boathouse at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore that housed the surf boats the lifesavers would row out into Lake Michigan to rescue those aboard ships that foundered.

Those who joined the Massachusetts Humane Society, the forerunner of the life-saving service, gave little thought to their own safety. Plunging into the pounding surf at all times of day and night and in all weather conditions, these live-savers instead were intent on lending aid to those in need. As many of the worst storms were spawned in fall and winter, these hardy souls often found themselves battling pelting rains and even snow in their life-saving efforts.

During its height there were USLSS stations located where many national seashores and lakeshores now stand. There were stations at present-day Cape Cod National Seashore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Gateway National Recreation Area, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Point Reyes National Seashore.

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