Heroes Day at Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station will be Aug. 6
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Museum Complex will be holding
its third annual “American Heroes Day” on
Wednesday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the village of Rodanthe
on Hatteras Island.
Chicamacomico was part of the United States Life-Saving Service (USLSS)
and was the first station built in North Carolina. The
original station, dating from 1874, is still on the site as one of
eight buildings belonging to the Chicamacomico Historical
Association. The men of the United States Life-Saving Service
(1871-1915) were the original rescue heroes, the “storm
warriors” who made dramatic and heroic rescues of shipwreck
victims whose lives were in peril from the sea. In their history,
nationwide, the USLSS’s rate of success was 99.2 percent,
while their own loss of life, usually under the worst possible
conditions, was less than 1 per cent. In 1915, this service
merged with the US Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States
Coast Guard who routinely continues this tradition of heroism.
With that inspiration, Chicamacomico decided to honor and celebrate
true American heroes of the past and the present.
Participants invited include the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy,
Coast Guard Auxiliary, local volunteer fire departments, N.C. State
Highway Patrol, local sheriff and police departments, local EMS units
and Ocean Rescue squads, National Park Service Cape Hatteras National
Seashore, Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, the Frisco Native
American Museum, and perhaps some last-minute surprises.
Equipment on display and/or in use includes fire engines, ambulances,
police cars, a Coast Guard helicopter, rescue boats, and more. There
will be numerous displays, demonstrations, and exhibits, as well as
hands-on activities and participation events. See Schedule of Events
(below) for details.
Any one of the “one-time events’ is worth the price
of admission. The Search and Rescue Demo could be straight
from the movie “The Guardian.” A Coast
Guard 47-foot motor life boat will be in the ocean off
Chicamacomico’s beach. It plays the role of a
vessel in distress with a man overboard. An HH-60 Jayhawk
helicopter arrives, circles, locates “victim” in
the water, hovers, and then a rescue swimmer jumps from the helo into
the ocean. He assists the victim into the basket, and it is hoisted
into the Jayhawk and then whisked away to safety.
The jet-ski water rescue is another simulation. There are
professionally trained local volunteers who can be on the scene of a
water rescue in a dramatically short amount of time.
The Beach Apparatus Drill is a historic re-enactment of a rescue method
used by the U.S. Life-Saving Service. It involves a large,
two-wheeled cart filled with lifesaving equipment, or
“apparatus,” the firing of a projectile with
a black-powder cannon to get lines to a stricken ship (the
“wreck pole” in the drill simulates the mast of a
ship) and then sending out equipment to save the lives of those on
board, one soul at a time.
The Beach Apparatus Drill has long been Chicamacomico’s most
popular program. Chicamacomico is one of only two places in
the nation to do the full drill re-enactment. It is performed
every Thursday at 2 p.m. during the summer. However,
Wednesday’s performance on Aug. 6 will take the place of the
regular Thursday drill for that week only.
The other one-time events are self-explanatory. Mojo Collins
is a musical legend from the ‘60s. If you missed that, now is
your chance. And for the flyover at the closing event, at
press time it was unconfirmed how many F-18s there would be.
So stick around to the very end for more surprises.
“All of these organizations are heroic to us,” said
James Charlet, site manager. “Some are obvious by saving
lives, but others are saving history, nature, or culture. All
selflessly serve the public like the Life-Saving Service did.
And, unfortunately, also like the Life-Saving Service, do not always
get the public recognition they deserve.”
3rd Annual American Heroes Day
Event Opens (All emergency vehicles: sirens on 1 minute,
lights on 10 minutes)
10:30 Opening Ceremonies -
Main Stage Area
Posting of Colors, United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor
Guard, Alexandria, VA.
Welcoming Remarks, James Charlet, Chicamacomico Historic Site Manager
Guest Speaker: Joe Raymond, Lt., USCG Sector North Carolina Field
Office Nags Head
Search & Rescue Demo, Jayhawk Helicopter & GC Lifeboat (USCG
Air Station Elizabeth City and USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Oregon
On the Beach.
Collins - live entertainment Front Porch 1911 Station
1:00 Water Rescue Demo
(Chicamacomico Banks VFD Water Rescue Unit) . On the Beach
2:00 Beach Apparatus Drill
Starts at 1874 Station
(Teams USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Oregon Inlet &
3:00 Closing Salute: Military Flyover,
U.S. Navy F-18 fighter
ON-GOING EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
• U.S. Coast Guard Station
Oregon Inlet- static display of 25 foot response boat & tow
• U.S. Coast Guard Station
Hatteras Inlet - interactive demonstration of fixing vessel water leaks
• Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer
Fire Dept & Water Rescue Unit- static display and inspection of
ladder truck and jet-ski, and tow truck. See demo above.
• Dare County Sheriff
Department- live demos of K9 Officer and dog, static displays and
inspection of patrol car and 5 ton “storm truck”
• Dare County Emergency Medical
Services –static display of EMS ambulance and equipment
• Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue
Unit – static display of truck and lifeguard equipment
• Salvo Volunteer Fire
Department – static display and inspection of company fire
• North Carolina Highway Patrol
– static display and inspection of SUV Patrol vehicle
• Tables, displays, handouts,
and conversations with – Dare County Emergency Management,
NPS Cape Hatteras Nation Seashore, Outer Banks Lighthouse
Society, & Frisco Native American Museum
*This is a tentative schedule and subject to change due to the fact
that active-duty emergency personnel and equipment are present and may
be called out before or during the event.
The Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Historic Site is located at
milepost 39.5 NC Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe. This
is the first village travelers come to on Hatteras Island on the Outer
Banks if you are arriving from the north.
Chicamacomico is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) educational living
history museum complex that raises all of its own operating
costs. This event is a major fund-raiser to help perpetuate
this incredible history. The public will experience a unique
event at a unique site, have a great time, and help to fulfill our
motto: “Honoring Our Heroes ~ Preserving Our Past.”
Last year’s event was dubbed “a rousing
success” and “the best day-long entertainment value
on the Outer Banks.” Admission fees are a flat $5 per
person. Children 5 and under are free.
Chicamacomico’s seven-acre site will be filled with equipment
and displays of the participants, so parking will be across the street.
Carpooling is encouraged.
For additional information, contact the Chicamacomico Life-Saving
Station at PO Box 5, Rodanthe, NC 27968 or by phone at (252) 987-1552,
or email [email protected].
Visit the website at www.chicamacomico.net to learn
more about the organization and see a write-up about last