U. S. Life-Saving Service

Postcard view of life saving station.

After Congress passed the Newell Act in 1848, a series of life saving stations was first constructed on Long Island in 1849. More money was appropriated in 1855, and additional stations were built.

The U. S. Life-Saving Service was established in 1871 to aid mariners in distress. Additional funding allowed for the reconstruction of existing life saving stations and the construction of more.

First a volunteer organization, then a government agency, the U.S.L.S.S. conducted ship-to-shore rescues in the days before modern navigation.

Seven crews were stationed on what is now Fire Island. (Moriches Inlet, currently the eastern terminus of Fire Island, was created by a storm in 1931. See Moriches Station)

The U.S.L.S.S changed radically with the invention of power boats. In 1915, the agency merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to become a new organization, the U. S. Coast Guard.

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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