• The Point Reyes Beach as viewed from the Point Reyes Headlands

    Point Reyes

    National Seashore California

Commemorating a Proud Tradition of Lifesaving at Point Reyes National Seashore on May 26, 2014

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Date: May 16, 2014
Contact: Nick Weber, 415-464-5130

Memorial Day decorations at the G Ranch Life-Saving Service Cemetery. © Elaine Straub.

Please join the National Park Service and the United States Coast Guard on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, in a ceremony and convocation honoring the sacrifice of men of the U.S. Life-Saving Service who gave their lives serving this nation along the shores of Point Reyes. The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 10 am at the historic G Ranch cemetery. An open house at the historic Point Reyes Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock will follow the ceremony until 2 pm.

With thick fog, treacherous currents, and thundering waves, the coastline of Northern California has always been a dangerous one. These shores have witnessed loss of life and cargo in hundreds of shipwrecks. The first Life Saving Station on Point Reyes Beach was established in 1890 and the men reached endangered ships in small open boats, launched through the breaking surf. In those first years of service, four surf men gave their lives while serving in the U.S. Life-Saving Service. Later, as technology improved and as a part of the United States Coast Guard, the station was moved to Drakes Bay in 1927. Two more men died while rescuing others in 1960. Their station at Chimney Rock, now a National Historic Landmark, operated until 1969. While the technology and training has improved the ability to save lives, the risk and the danger have never disappeared.

"We are proud to tell the story of the dedication and courage of the U.S. Life-Saving Service here at Point Reyes National Seashore," says Park Superintendent Cicely Muldoon. "We honor their sacrifice this Memorial Day, and stand alongside our colleagues in the United States Coast Guard in our common commitment to public safety."

Directions to the cemetery and the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station can be found on the park website at http://www.nps.gov/pore, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore, or by calling 415-464-5100 x2 x5.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Humpback whale spout

Marine biologists have identified nearly a third of all known marine mammal species in the waters surrounding Point Reyes. Blue whales and humpback whales feed here during spring and summer months. Gray whales migrate past our shores twice a year on their round trip from Alaska to Baja. More...