Monday, May 4, 2015

Lewes And Rehoboth Life Saving Service Crews Save 194 Lives During The 1889 Great Storm

On October 13, 1889, from Washington, D.C. the General Superintendent of the Life Saving Service, S. J. Kimball, wrote letters to John A. Clampitt, Keeper of Lewes Station, Theodore Salmons, Keeper of Cape Henlopen Station, and Thomas J. Traxton, Keeper of Rehoboth Beach Station,  in which he said:
  The splendid conduct shown by yourselves and the crews under your command during the great storm of September10th to the 27th last,  has been noted by this office.  Upon that occasion , notwithstanding an unusually high tide that flooded the beach so as to embarrass your crews you gave efficient aid o no less that 22 vessels, taking off by boat 39 persons,  and by line apparatus  155, at total of 194 persons, not a life being lost from any vessel that came within the scope of your actions. In this successful work you showed a zeal and discretion and an ingenuity in availing yourselves of the resources at your command worthy of the highest praise.  Undaunated by the perils you encountered you and your crews manfully worked throughout each day and night without food  enduring extreme fatigue. Such service as this does honor to the Life Saving Service and the country.
  It is the desire of the Secretary of the Treasury to recognize as far as is in his power the worth of your achievements and he has accordingly directed that the pay of each of you be increased to the maximum amount allowed by existing law  to officers of your grade, namely $800 per year.
It is a matter of deepest regret that no means existfor recompensing in a similar manner the brave surfmen of your crews on that occasion since, by law, they receive already the maximum salary.
                                                                                    Respectfully yours,
                                                                                   S. J. Kimball, General Superintendent

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