Island History: Lessons from the Shipwreck of the Barge Saxon, 12 October 1907, Still Unlearned

The story of a wrecked barge 115 years ago, at first glance, may not seem too exciting. This story, however, is not only engagingly interesting, but is also a somewhat complicated saga. On the negative side, it is of maritime lessons unlearned. On the positive side, it demonstrates, once again, the amazing tenacity of the […]

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Island History: The 137-year anniversary of the wreck of the Schooner Ada F. Whitney

The wreck of the schooner Ada F. Whitney, which occurred on September 22, 1885, was a very difficult but somewhat routine event for the life-savers during a somewhat difficult time in America. In the year of this wreck, 1885, America had 38 states – yet to become would be the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, […]

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Island History: Coast Guard Day – Seeing the Completed Jigsaw Puzzle Picture

The United States Coast Guard is best known by its motto “So others may live.” But it has gone through a lot of development through the years. “Coast Guard Day” is celebrated nationally every year on August 4, and 2022 will mark its 232nd anniversary, but the origin of that date can be somewhat confusing. […]

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The Mirlo Rescue – the most-highly awarded maritime rescue in U.S. history, 104 years Later.

On August 16, 1918, Surfman Number Eight of the Chicamacomico Life-Saving Station, Leroy Stockton Midgett, took the watch in the tower of the still-new 1911 station. Although this was three years after the Life-Saving Service had been recreated as the Coast Guard, these folks had been used to the old terminology for many years and […]

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RMS Titanic – The Fatally Flawed Hatteras Connection

April 14, 2022, marks the day that the world’s largest manmade, moving object began its titanic futile struggle to survive 110 years ago, only days after its birth. More newspaper accounts, magazine articles, books, radio and TV talk shows, documentaries, and motion pictures have been made about the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Titanic sinking than […]

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Island History: The 1876 fatal disaster mystery of the Nuova Ottavia

When the Italian vessel Nuova Ottavia wrecked on shoals off Currituck Beach just after sunset on Wednesday evening, March 1, 1876, it made no sense to any of the horror-struck witnesses, and the incident still makes no sense. It had been seen earlier about five miles from shore with rough seas and “rather high and […]

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Island History: Ohio Gets the Wright Brothers Wrong, Again

The two most common mistakes in Outer Banks history are arguably referring to the Old Oregon Inlet Life-Saving Station as the Pea Island Station, and the history surrounding the Wright brothers. From long debates over whether North Carolina or Ohio could claim the title of being the “Birthplace of Aviation,” to the concept of who […]

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The 125th Anniversary of the Famous and Remarkable E.S. Newman Rescue

On October 11, 1896, a most remarkable rescue by the most remarkable crew of the U.S. Life-Saving Station No. 17 Pea Island took place, which became a pedestal of honored U.S. Coast Guard achievements. Etheridge’s Early Years When there was suddenly an opening for Keeper of the Pea Island Life-Saving Station, a surprising thing happened. […]

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