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Contact: John A. Dell'Osso, 415-464-5135
Please join the National Park Service and the United States Coast Guard on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, in a ceremony and convocation honoring the U.S. Life-Saving Service personnel who risked and sometimes sacrificed their lives serving this nation along the shores of Point Reyes. The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at 1:30 pm. at the historic G Ranch cemetery. An open house at the historic Point Reyes Lifeboat Station at Chimney Rock will follow the ceremony from 3pm to 5pm and attendees will have an opportunity to see the historic Coast Guard Motorized Lifeboat CG-36542, which recently returned after a three-year restoration at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
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.
Directions to the cemetery and the Point Reyes Lifeboat Station can be found on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/pore, at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Point Reyes National Seashore, or by calling 415-464-5100 x2 x5.
For more information, visit our website at https://www.nps.gov/pore