On September 21, 1883, the crew from the Kitty Hawk Life-Saving Station discovered a schooner about six miles southeast of the station dismasted and flying colors of distress.

The surf-boat was launched but due to rough weather, it took about 2 ½ hours for the crew to reach the vessel’s side. Only two sailors were found aboard who were exhausted, famished, and were actually part of another vessel’s crew, the Mary Bradford. The Bradford had been towing the disabled schooner, which was the C. W. Lewis, but the tow-line parted leaving the two men without provisions as the Bradford continued on to get towing assistance. For three days, the men drifted along waiting for help to arrive and eventually they made it within sight of a station. Shortly after the arrival of the Kitty Hawk crew, the towing vessel, the Battler, arrived on the scene. Provisions were provided for the Bradford men and very soon, with assistance from the surfmen, the Battler got a towing line to the Lewis and once again, she was being towed up the coastline headed towards Baltimore.

All in a Day’s Work

Sometimes it’s about being a good host: On November 28, 1883, a wrecking steamer, the Victoria J. Peed arrived on scene to examine a stranded vessel, the Annie S. Carll. The crew of the Annie was being sheltered at the Nags Head Station, so the Nags Head crew was expecting the arrival of the steamer. Rough weather delayed the landing so it wasn’t until December 2nd an attempt was made to reach the shore. Seeing a boat being lowered from the Victoria, the surfmen hurried to assist them in landing in the rough waters.

Thankfully the station crew was nearby as the boat capsized and threw the men into the surf. Wading into the water, the life-savers were able to help the people safely ashore and took them to the station and provided dry clothing. Increased winds forced the Victoria to pull away into deeper waters leaving the six men ashore. They stayed at the station for two days until the weather allowed the steamer to return and the crew then took the men out in the surf-boat to board the vessel.