Historic shipwreck rescue re-enactment Aug. 16

The Breeches Buoy system is set up to re-enact a shipwreck rescue at the turn of the 20th century. SOURCE SUBMITTED
August 7, 2014

Park visitors are invited to see a historic shipwreck rescue drill come to life at 1 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum. Interpreters dressed in period uniform will partner with active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members to re-enact one of the most exciting and significant practices used to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners at the turn of the century.

The United States Life-Saving Service (precursor to the modern-day Coast Guard) was established in 1871 and was used to launch rescue missions to assist victims of shipwrecks along America’s coastlines. For the fearless men employed in the service, the Breeches Buoy system was both the most technologically advanced and the safest method for rescuing passengers from stranded vessels.

Today, the Indian River Life-Saving Station at Delaware Seashore State Park is one of only three sites in the country which re-creates this unique rescue demonstration for the public. This is the very drill the surfmen of the Indian River Life-Saving Station practiced routinely on these same beaches just over 100 years ago.

The cost for this program, which includes a admission to the museum, is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors (age 62 and older), $4 for youth (ages 6-12), and free for children (ages 5 and under). Preregistration is not necessary. For more information about this or other programs at the Indian River Life-Saving Station, call 302-227-6991.