Replica of Silver Life Saving Medal Presented to Descendants of Urias Blount Williams
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111 ext 148
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is more than vast stretches of water and sand; it is also a land of dramatic history and rich local lore that make for spectacular stories of shipwrecks, piracy and momentous life saving rescues. One of those tales involves the rescue of all crew members from the shipwrecked German Steamer Brewster on November 29, 1909.
It has been a long time coming but recently Superintendent Mike Murray presented descendants of Urias B. Williams, Bette R. Gray, Celia R. Meekins and Victor L. Rollinson, with a reproduction of the original Silver Life Saving medal which was awarded to Urias B. Williams for the rescue of the men from the Brewster. The family donated their grandfather’s original medal to the National Park Service in 2003 for safekeeping. Murray stated, "This is quite an honor to present this family with a reproduction of a cherished piece of family history. We appreciate their generosity and patience with the National Park Service."
In August 2003, the family of Urias Blount Williams presented Williams’ silver medal to the National Park Service during the 50th anniversary of America’s first national seashore. The original medal will be displayed at the Museum of the Sea at the Cape Hatteras Light Station. This represents the general location of the original Buxton Life Saving Station where Urias B. Williams was stationed.
Did You Know?
When the Home sank on Diamond Shoals off of Cape Hatteras in 1837, there were only two life jackets for all 130 people on board. Ninety people died. Congress passed the Steamboat Act the next year, requiring all vessels to carry one life jacket per passenger.