Browseabout Books in Rehoboth will host a book signing starting at 11 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 4, for "The Surfman," a new book by David M. Schroeder.
Set at the nearby Indian River Lifesaving Station, it is a story about the men of the U.S. Lifesaving Service who patrolled America's beaches watching for ships or sailors in peril. Prior to the availability of reliable navigational aids, ship captains used a practice called coasting and sailed close to the shoreline. Because of this, ships were often caught on shoals and beaten by wind and wave until they were broken apart. There was great loss of life and property, and in 1878 Congress created the U.S. Lifesaving Service. In 1915 it became the Coast Guard.
Elizabeth Harrison jumps from a ship to escape captivity. One of the surfmen, Jack Light, pulls her from the water, and at her insistence hides her from the men on the ship. Her problems become his, and through a complex plot, readers meet Jack’s service mates, children from orphan trains, lawmen and miscreants. Readers sailing through the pages see what it’s like to be on a ship ravaged by pirates, to battle the Atlantic in dangerous rescues, to feel the charm of romance and to fight for one’s life. They watch men make moral choices and face their consequences.
“The Surfman” introduces the public to little-known figures from this nation's history whose heroism helped save the lives of thousands of people.
The author earned a BA in English from Loyola College (now University) in Baltimore. He worked for General Motors for 15 years and then spent 23 years in the contracting business, from which he retired in 2006. He and his wife Thora have three married children and nine grandchildren and live in central Pennsylvania. They spend a lot of time at Bethany Beach on the Delaware shore where a visit to a restored lifesaving station gave him the incentive to research and write this book. He is currently working on a sequel to "The Surfman," which should be published next year.
Browseabout Books is at 133 Rehoboth Ave. in Rehoboth Beach.