Bishop Assists In Donation Of Historical Coast Guard Life Boat To Restoration Group
Congressman Tim Bishop joined representatives from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) and the Committee to Restore and Preserve the Amagansett U.S. Life Saving and Coast Guard Station (the Committee) to thank the Academy for their generous donation and to welcome the transfer of a wooden life boat from the USMMA to the Committee.
The Committee approached Congressman Bishop when it learned that a life boat, very similar to boats that were historically used at the Amagansett Station, was no longer being utilized by the USMMA. The Committee asked the Congressman, who is a member of the Academy's Congressional Board of Visitors, to determine if the Maritime Administration (MARAD) would be receptive to donating the life boat to the Station. On the Committee's behalf, successful advocacy and support by Congressman Bishop directly led to the Maritime Administration's agreement to donate the lifeboat due to its historical significance.
"Finding a new home for the life boat at the Amagansett U.S. Life Saving and Coast Guard Station is important in order to help preserve the legacy of those who served at that station," said Congressman Bishop. "It will also assist those visiting the station to gain a more thorough understanding of the station's history and better appreciate its role on the east end."
The Amagansett U.S. Life Saving and Coast Guard Station is currently being restored. The life boat will be the focal point of the Station's Boat Room.
According to the Amagansett Coast Guard Station's website, when the Station was constructed on Atlantic Avenue in 1902, it was one of a network thirty life-saving stations on the south shore of Long Island. Through each night and in bad weather the men at these stations kept watch from the lookout tower and by patrolling the beach. Discovering a ship in distress, the life-savers would perform a rescue by launching their surfboat or by firing a line to the ship and taking people off with a breeches buoy. From 1902 to 1937 the crew of the Amagansett Life-Saving Station, most of whom were experienced local fishermen and shore whalers, kept watch over this beach and rescued sailors and passengers from a number of shipwrecks. The Life-Saving Service and the Lighthouse Service were the two federal programs intended to increase the safety of coastal navigation. These two services were later joined in the U. S. Coast Guard. The Amagansett Life-Saving Station complements the Montauk Point Lighthouse in recalling that era of our maritime history when ships sailing the ocean provided the principal means of transporting goods and people in coastal America.