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Historic Life-Saving Stations to Visit


Assisting shipwrecked mariners from shore-based stations was first undertaken in the United States by volunteers, beginning with the Massachusetts Humane Society in 1786. The Federal government began to provide provisions and funds for life saving operations in 1848, and the United States Lifesaving Service was created in 1878.?Stations were organized into three categories: lifesaving, lifeboat, and houses of refuge. Beginning in 1915, the U.S. Coast Guard operated and maintained active stations. Today, many historic stations that are no longer active have been re-purposed for museum or commercial activities.?To learn more about the history of life-saving stations, visit the U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association.

Click on a highlighted state on the map or the list below to find historic life-saving stations to visit.

If you would like additional information about a life-saving station listed on these pages (or if you have updated information to share), please contact us.


U.S. map. States with life-saving stations are highlighted.


Point Reyes Lifeboat Station
Point Reyes Lifeboat Station.
Photo by Don DeBold.
Licensed via Creation Commons.

California | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Illinois | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | New Jersey | New York | North Carolina | Oregon | Rhode Island | Virginia | Washington | Wisconsin