annual American Heroes Day is Aug. 5 at Rodanthe
Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station Museum Complex will sponsor its fifth
annual American Heroes Day on Thursday, Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. until 3
p.m. 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
station, dating from 1874, is still on the site as one of eight
buildings belonging to the Chicamacomico Historical
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 men of the USLSS men responded
to more than 178,000 lives in peril from the sea, of which they saved
more than 177,000. This is a startling rate of success of
percent, while their own loss of life, usually under the worst possible
conditions, was less than 1 percent! In 1915, this
merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States
Coast Guard, whose men and women routinely continue this tradition of
With that inspiration, Chicamacomico decided to honor and celebrate
true American heroes of the past and the present.
invited include the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary,
local volunteer fire departments, North Carolina State Highway Patrol,
local sheriff and police departments, local EMS units and ocean rescue
squads, National Park Service at Cape Hatteras National
Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, the Frisco Native American Museum, and
perhaps some last-minute surprises.
on display and/or in use during the event includes fire engines,
ambulances, police cars, a Coast Guard helicopter, rescue boats, and
others. There will be numerous displays, demonstrations, and exhibits,
as well as hands-on activities and participation events.
Any one of the “one-time events’ is worth the price of
The Search and Rescue Demo could be straight from the movie “The
Guardian.” A Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat will be in
ocean off Chicamacomico’s beach. It plays the role of a
distress with a man overboard. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
arrives, circles, locates the “victim” in the water, hovers, and then a
rescue swimmer jumps from the helo into the ocean. Then he
assists the victim into the basket and is hoisted into the Jayhawk
and 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.
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 a projectile with a black-powder cannon to get lines
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, commonly referred to as the Breaches Buoy
Re-enactment, has long been Chicamacomico’s most popular
Chicamacomico is the only place in the nation to do the full drill
re-enactment on a regular basis. And to top it off, the drill reams are
all volunteers of active-duty US Coast Guard personnel. It is performed
every Thursday at 2 p.m. during the summer (June, July and
The flyover at the closing event is, at this time.
unconfirmed. So stick around to the very end for more
All of these organizations are heroic to us. 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, they do not
always get the public recognition they deserve.
“So, American Heroes of today, the Heroes of the Past salute you,” said
Chicamacomico manager James Charlet in a media release. “Many thanks
for carrying on such an essential and positive time-honored tradition.”
This is a fund-raising event for the non-profit 501(c)3 Chicamacomico
Historical Association so that it may continue these kinds of events
and keep the history of heroes alive.
Chicamacomico’s fifth annual
American Heroes Day
Event Opens (All emergency vehicles: sirens on 30 seconds, lights on 5
Opening Ceremonies - Main Stage Area
Colors, United States Coast Guard Color Guard, USCG Sector North
Remarks, James Charlet, Chicamacomico Historic Site Manager
Guest Speaker: Capt. Anthony Popeil, Commanding Officer USCG Sector
North Carolina, Fort Macon, N.C.
USCG Search & Rescue Demo, Jayhawk Helicopter & GC
Lifeboat - On the Beach
(USCG Air Station Elizabeth City and USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Oregon
LUNCH: Hot dogs, chips, and soda - Salvo VFD truck near Highway
at truck near Visitors’ Center
Water Rescue Demo
(Chicamacomico Banks VFD Water Rescue Unit)
On the Beach
Apparatus Drill - Starts at 1874
(Teams USCG Motor Lifeboat Station Oregon Inlet & Station
3:00 Closing Salute:
Military Flyover, Overhead
EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Hot dogs, sodas, chips & ice cream for sale!
US Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet- static display of 25-foot response
boat & tow truck
US 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’s Department- live demos of K9 Officer and
displays and inspection of patrol car and 5 ton “storm
Dare County Emergency Medical Services –static display of EMS ambulance
Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue Unit – static display of truck and
Salvo Volunteer Fire Department – static display and inspection of
company fire engine.
North Carolina Highway Patrol – static display and inspection of SUV
Tables, displays, handouts, and conversations with – Currituck
NPS Cape Hatteras Nation Seashore, Outer Banks Lighthouse
*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 ½ NC Highway 12 in the village of Rodanthe, NC. The GPS
coordinates are 35° 35’ N, 75° 28’ W. This is the first
travelers come to on Hatteras Island on North Carolina’s fabled 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
incredible history. The public will experience a unique event
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.” The Annapolis Daily Record
rates it one of the “Top 20 Beach Picks for 2010.” 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 previous