“The schooner Thomas J. Lancaster became stranded and was breaking up. But this story, about an extended Coast Guard family, is one for the history books. The tanker, loaded with gas and oil, exploded, bursting into flame, the fire spreading over 10 miles of sea. Midgetts were rescuing ship-wrecked mariners and passengers decades before there was an official, organized lifesaving service. I was a teen in World War II. “I boarded an overnight train in Norfolk for Philadelphia,” he says, “then caught a train to Cape May. Within a few days, commerce began moving along the Lower Mississippi River, home to one of the world’s largest port complex and a vital waterway to our Nation’s commerce. One hair-raising episode with the sea in 1881 bears out his great courage and bravery, according to the book. The salt and sea are borne in our blood.” Midgett says it was on the Ingham he began his path to becoming an engineer as a boiler tender specialist. She married her high school sweetheart, and has made Cape May her home ever since. It’s just what we did when you had to do it.”. And, as is tradition of the family, 11-year-old grandson Michael Midgett says he is planning to follow in Grandpa and Great-Grandpa’s footsteps and join the Coast Guard. She followed a coast guard captain for three weeks and filmed during harrowing … The New York Times featured Matziaraki’s complete documentary, 4.1 Miles. The area off the coast is called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.” There are two strong rivers at sea that collide near Cape Hatteras. Who are these electricians, carpenters or school teachers to put their lives in danger for the sake of others for nothing but honor ? Interim B.C. Not much going on then. I had an invitation to the celebration, but I said to the captain, ‘I am going to sea.’ The captain said, ‘You had a letter from the admiral inviting you to Midgett family day, and you are going to go.’ So I did, and I was pleased I did so. The Pappas Post is a collective of news and content about the world of Greece, in English. I wasn’t going to do it. money laundering report out, but final inquiry results will be delayed. Flores' brother, William Flores, helped save … Daphne Matziaraki is a Greek documentary filmmaker who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was on the cutter Cherokee as associate engineer. B.C.’s coastal First Nations have lived, worked and thrived on the rugged west coast for millennia. Equally impressive as the Coast Guard’s lifesaving operations, was the response from our marine safety professionals. “I grew up with no electricity, no telephone or indoor plumbing, not until the 1940s.” He says he had only two choices. Conducting rescue operations at sea is a long family tradition for Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Stuart Bangs, a boatswain’s mate serving at Coast Guard Station Point Allerton in Hull, Massachusetts. Gregory C. Pappas It was 385 lives saved in 2014, 338 lives saved in 2013 and 427 lives saved in 2012. His Cape May family, including daughter and granddaughter, were in the audience. The author noted the name Midgett outnumbered all other names when the United States first counted Outer Banks citizens in 1790. Both her daughter Tracey Martin (executive assistant to Curtis Bashaw, Cape Resorts) and granddaughter Bridget Martin graduated from Lower Cape May Regional. A demonstration of how the Coast Guard uses the i911 system in Boston, Massachusetts, May 4, 2020. They held on like bulldogs against the raging ocean until they brought the victims safely into their surfboat.”. He started out as a surfman at lifesaving stations on the Outer Banks. Saving lives is a family tradition. It was a family tradition; sons followed fathers. Emotional Film Shares Story of Dying Greek Community... Greece Begins Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine as First Doses Arrive in Europe, Dr. Jane Goodall Throws Weight Behind Animal Welfare Initiatives on Greek Island, George Clooney Reveals Unlikely Story to Thank for His Marriage to Amal, Forgotten History: The Klan vs. Americans of Greek Heritage in an Era of Hate and the Birth of the AHEPA, 90% of Americans with Greek Roots No Longer in Communion with Greek Orthodox Church, Donald Trump’s “Shithole” Comment Shouldn’t Offend You; Something Else Should. Records show that in 1972, there were 30 Midgetts—all at one time—active in the Coast Guard. Kyriakos Papadopoulos, a captain in the Greek Coast Guard, is caught in the struggle of refugees fleeing the Middle East and traveling the short distance from the coast of Turkey to the island of Lesbos. “For a quarter, you could get a ride downtown to buy a hamburger or hotdog. “The town was so isolated.” he says. All received the American Cross of Honor. AN underground cable network in Weymouth is being upgraded as part of a multi-million pound project to help HM Coastguard save lives at sea and on the Dorset coast. The book relates that Cap’n Ban was notorious for going barefoot. Indian Coast Guard modernizing fleet, enforcing laws, saving lives. She followed a coast guard captain for three weeks and filmed during harrowing rescues. During his four years in Cape May, his daughter Elizabeth “Gayle” attended Lower Cape May Regional High School. Newfoundland Dogs Help the Italian Coast Guard Save Lives. Lew Midgett’s father, Franklin Harris Midgett, served in the Coast Guard from 1920 to 1945. It was an easy decision. According to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park, more than 1,000 dead ships still reside in The Graveyard of the Atlantic. Cap’n Ban is described as: “A mighty man with an oar, no doubt about it. Five nations — Ahousaht, Heiltsuk, Gitxaala, Nisga’a and Kitasoo — are now using intimate knowledge of the coast to save lives as Canada’s first Indigenous coast guard auxiliary. A Coast Guard 45-foot response boat in San Diego Bay. Stunning Video Shows Completion of Athens Monuments Lighting... Gal Gadot Defends Cleopatra Casting After ‘Whitewashing’ Accusations, Stunning 2400-Year-Old Mask of Dionysus Unearthed in Turkey. There is a long history of high winds and heavy seas overpowering ships, smashing them onto sandbars or flat beaches. Midgetts were rescuing ship-wrecked mariners and passengers decades before there was an official, organized lifesaving service. With Kevin Costner, Ashton Kutcher, Sela Ward, Melissa Sagemiller. © 2020 Cape Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. The Coast Guard's rescue swimmer program was created after the 1983 Marine Electric tragedy, in which a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter team attempted to rescue 34 crew members of the ship the Marine Electric that capsized during a winter storm off the coast of Virginia.By the time the rescue team arrived on the scene, most of the people in the water had … A high school swim champion with a troubled past enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School, where legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall teaches him some hard lessons about loss, love, and self-sacrifice. The town hadn’t changed since I was in boot camp.” When he was assigned extended shore duty, he discharged in protest. “In the old days, before electricity, radio and TV, Pop would go out at night, look up at the stars, come in and tell us the weather for tomorrow. There was the time the sea surged around our house and we had to evacuate to the second floor of the old lifesaving station on Bodie’s Island. After duty in Baltimore, Norfolk, Elizabeth City and Wilmington, North Carolina, and Londonderry, Connecticut, Lew Midgett returned to Cape May in 1964. As members of the Coast Guard, our predecessors believed in the saying, “You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back.”. He was in the fifth company to train, graduating in 1948. B.C.’s coastal First Nations have lived, worked and thrived on the rugged west coast for millennia. He was a surfman and the oar was part of him. Aside from their intelligence and gentle disposition, these dogs are known for bravely saving … The Coast Guard Historical Office says the Midgett family legacy is unprecedented. The cutter was named for him for “his extreme and heroic daring” in rescuing 42 crewman aboard the British tanker Mirlo. Scores of ships have died there. But because Cap’n Ban, and others like him, had an instinctive knowledge of the sea and how to use an oar in a boat, hundreds of men were saved.” In his Chicamacomico Wreck Report Journal, Cap’n Ban recorded more than 100 entries of lives saved. They relaxed at granddaughter Tracey’s home for some reminiscing about the Midgetts’ hometown, Manteo. This year, Retired U.S. Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Llewellyn Daniel Midgett, now age 86, was invited to Washington, D.C., and honored at the Pentagon. Written by coast Guard Auxiliarist Reid Oslin. The Libyan Coast Guard vessel that was sent to intervene on that morning, the Ras Jadir, was one of several that had been repaired by Italy and handed back to the Libyans in May of 2017. Aboard the Coast Guard cutter Unimak, he was in charge of all the piping—water, fuel and oil systems. A genealogy study claimed that they originated in France, but centuries ago had migrated to England where they built ships. “I followed a coast guard captain for three weeks as he pulled family after family, child after child, from the ocean and saved their lives,” she said. From this seascape the Midgett family learned the lessons of the perilous local waters and became expert in navigating and at saving lives. They're there when you need them! By Dan Doyle. As happens in many Coast Guard families, she met the love of her life, a local guy, Don Noland. In particular I used The Coast Guard At War: Lost Cutters (Official History Series, Volume VIII, 1947). The Coast Guard’s mission capabilities–saving lives, interdicting smugglers and illegal migrants, enforcing our nation’s laws and treaties, and protecting our ports and natural resources–derive from the readiness of our fleets of cutters, boats, aircraft, and the C4ISR systems that link them together. Receive 1 year of Cape May Magazine (6 issues) for $29. Comments Off on i911, helping the Coast Guard save lives. In the early years, waterfront buildings had two doors, one for arriving by boat, the other for walking in off the street. “At one time on the Ingham,” he says, “there were 16 other men from my home county Dare, and five from my hometown Manteo. Despite having limited resources, the captain and his crew attempt to save lives during the immense humanitarian crisis. Grandpa Lew and his wife Joy drove to town from Wilmington, North Carolina, in a 30-foot RV, pulling along his pickup truck. In a Coast Guard town like Cape May many tales are told about old salts and their adventures at sea. Their speech had touches of Elizabethan English. We were getting ready to head out. Check out this video to see insnae and amazing Coast Guard Rescues. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. To live on this small island is to live with the sea. Bannister Midgett also served at Chicamicomico Life-Saving Station at Rodanthe, North Carolina, 13 miles from the Bodie Island Light. A dedicated group of ordinary people from the Ireland's harsh southwest coast area, saving lives as freelance coast guard members. It was a massive storm, heavy with tropical moisture and powerful winds. First Coast Guard District command center crews, from Maine to Northern New Jersey, have a … The 378-foot cutter Midgett was launched in September, 1971. The U.S. Coast Guard said Stuart Bee was found alive 86 miles east of Port Canaveral, Florida, clinging to the bow of his vessel. I heard booms in the night, the island shook when German U-boats hit off shore. JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Gray News) - A 62-year-old man was rescued Sunday after hanging on to his capsized boat well off the Florida coast. His legend grew from Wimble, next to the Diamond Shoals, which is as dangerous a place as there is on the Eastern Seaboard. It was real quiet except for the wind. It was so amazing, the National Geographic ran a photo of all the Midgetts aboard the cutter. She returned to Greece last fall to make a film about the refugee crisis that had overcome her nation. $255K prize pool #CGreadyforrescue readyforrescuechallenge.com With 90 percent of the Nation’s commerce moving via maritime conveyance, a safe and resilient … The Gold Lifesaving Medal and Silver Lifesaving Medal are U.S. decorations issued by the United States Coast Guard.The awards were established by Act of Congress, 20 June 1874; later authorized by 14 U.S.C. Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer and Pilots Honored For Saving Lives During Hurricane Harvey. He was 17 when he enlisted, and had never been away from home. Publisher, Watch the Complete Documentary 4.1 Miles: A Coast Guard Captain on a Small Greek Island is Suddenly Charged with Saving Thousands of Lives. “I hated shore duty. “This year we celebrate a remarkable milestone in our history as more than one million lives have been saved by the Coast Guard since 1790. Five nations — Ahousaht, Heiltsuk, Gitxaala, Nisga’a and Kitasoo — are now using intimate knowledge of the coast to save lives as Canada’s first Indigenous coast guard auxiliary. The whole deck was full of Midgetts. It’s believed the originals, arriving in the early 1700s, were possibly survivors of a British ship wreck. The old timers could feel hurricanes and nor’easters comin’, and they could tell you just how rough it was going to be. He was a member of the Outer Banks Midgett family, born in 1876 in Rodanthe, Cape Hatteras Island. Boyhood experiences from this environment and stories of his legendary family are what Lew Midgett carried with him in his 30 years of service in the Coast Guard. It was his lifelong dream. Submit a boater safety solution to the Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge to help make people in the water easier to find by 10/15/18. I wanted to be at sea.” He re-enlisted in less than a month with the goal of going back to sea on the Ingham which he did, again as a boiler tender. Cap’n Ban and his surfmen worked all night and finally were able to get a surfboard out to the schooner where they rescued survivors from the rigging. After a 29-year separation, the two reunited and worked together assisting in or saving 32 lives as members of Fairport’s Coast Guard Auxiliary. “Old timers swore he could strike a long-stemmed sulfur match on the bottom of his naked foot.” Cap’n Ban claimed to be illiterate, blaming “the treasonable neglect of the Confederacy to maintain schools during the Rebellion.” However, as a matter of fact and record, the book says that Cap’n Ban read widely and wrote fluently in private. The newly operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary dispatch centre in Bella Bella started receiving a flurry of calls for help from several vessels in distress. Directed by Andrew Davis. So Others May Live is the untold story of the U.S. Coast Guard's quiet but resolute rescue swimmers. Daphne Matziaraki is a Greek documentary filmmaker who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. The May 19th ceremony was designed to celebrate a milestone in military history. It’s been reported, but bears repeating, that the U.S. Coast Guard is the only branch of … She stayed on in Cape May in 1968 when her father made chief and transferred to Brooklyn. From deep ocean caves on the Oregon coast to the panicked and chaotic streets of post-Katrina New Orleans, here are their stunningly heroic stories―some of the greatest maritime rescues attempted since the program was started in 1985. In its news release, the Coast Guard failed to say that 350 was an average, as they did in 2014. More than 200 members of the Midgett family have been engaged in U.S. lifesaving services since the late 1800s. It was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1918 during World War I. Lew Midgett grew up in Manteo, on Roanoke Island in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. It saved him a lot of bother inherent in the keeping of government records and carrying on official correspondence. Directed by Frank Mirbach. Among the crew that night were four other Midgetts: Zion, Arthur, Clarence, and Leroy, as well as Prochorous O’Neal, who was married to a Midgett. The Newfoundland dog breed has been nicknamed the lifeguard dog and with good reason. The Midgett name became nationally known with the christening of the Coast Guard cutter Midgett honoring Chief Warrant Officer John Allen “Bos’n” Midgett Jr., who spent 40 years in the U.S. Life-Saving Service and Coast Guard. While that is no longer the expectation, one thing that continues to unite Coasties of all types — active duty, reserve, auxiliary, civilian, retirees and families — is our calling to a life of service. Check out this video to see insnae and amazing Coast Guard Rescues. He was appointed a keeper of the Outer Banks lifesaving station at Little Kinnakeet in 1874. Ships navigating storm-tossed seas tend to draw nearer the shoreline and encounter Diamond Shoals, a series of always shifting underground sandbars which come and go, depending on tides and weather. A Coast Guard crew tries to locate people in distress in Jacksonville, Fla., after Hurricane Irma on Sept. 11, 2017. This May, at the Washington, D.C. ceremony, Lew Midgett, with his grandson at his side, presented his officer’s ceremonial sword to be displayed in a Pentagon hall dedicated to the Coast Guard where other Midgett family honors have been placed. From this seascape the Midgett family learned the lessons of the perilous local waters and became expert in navigating and at saving lives. After surviving COVID, Coasties save lives by donating plasma. Once the U.S. Life-Saving Service (1848-1915), the U.S. Lighthouse Service (1910-1939), and the U.S. Coast Guard (1915) were established, members of the Midgett family served in all three of these guardians of the sea. He was of the opinion that Washington, D.C. “was skewered through and through with office ink pens and bound hand and foot with red tape.”. In mid-November, a storm pounded B.C.’s central coast, 120-kilometre-per-hour winds whipping the waves into a frenzy. Posted by PA2 Connie Terrell, Monday, November 7, 2016. Grandpa Lew is considering returning there to live, in a new condominium development, not far from where he grew up on Little Street, now called Wingina Avenue. She wrote about three Midgett keepers of the station: Cap’n Ban, Cap’n John Allen, and Cap’n Levene. These decorations are two of the oldest medals in the United States and were originally established at the Department of Treasury as Lifesaving Medals First and Second Class. It was only in public that he assumed the posture of an unlettered man. The crew abandoned the burning ship in three boats: the first capsized. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Can you help the @uscg save lives? She told The New York Times that she discovered a situation that she never imagined possible. We never worried much about storms. She told The New York Times that she discovered a situation that she never imagined possible. History of the Rescue Swimmer. He was profiled in a 1974 book, The Mighty Midgetts of Chicamicomico, by Nell Wise Wechter. How Canada’s first Indigenous coast guard program is already saving lives 18 mins ago. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. His wife and others had been lashed to the port fore rigging. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jonathan Lindberg) Heroic USCG Rescue Swimmers Honored for Saving Lives During Hurricanes Irma and Harvey She returned to Greece last fall to make a film about the refugee crisis that had overcome her nation. The first Midgett serving in an official government capacity was L. Bannister Midgett. The Coast Guard’s fleet modernization, coupled with the “Make in India” initiative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, led New Delhi to employ two of the country’s leading shipyards to produce 12 large OPVs. Members of the Midgett family (also spelled Midgette) have performed duties in the U.S. Life-Saving Service, the U.S. Lighthouse Service, and the U.S. Coast Guard. “We had one vessel towing another vessel and he had to cut his tow loose. It is but 12 miles long and two miles wide, wrapping around Shallowbag Bay. Llewellyn “Lew” Midgett was among the first young men to finish boot camp when the Coast Guard Training Center was established in Cape May in 1947. “There was but one taxi service in town,” he says. Bos’n Midgett was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal, the country’s highest award for saving a life. You may remember the news stories that the nation watched in disbelief two years ago when Hurricane Harvey came pounding ashore in August of 2017. The history of the United States Coast Guard goes back to the United States Revenue Cutter Service, which was founded on 4 August 1790 as part of the Department of the Treasury.The Revenue Cutter Service and the United States Life-Saving Service were merged to become the Coast Guard per 14 U.S.C. The wind blew at 75 miles per hour. USGS photo Geoff Anderson. The cold water Labrador Current from the north meets the warm Gulf Stream from the south, and the conflicting currents churn up fierce storms. I enlisted in the Coast Guard just as soon as I could.” That was 70 years ago. “All the Midgetts who had ever been in the Coast Guard and their families were invited for the day. Left to Right: Jeff Huse, 67, a survivor of the sinking of the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Blackthorn on January 28, 1980, hugs Sam Flores. It was an old coal burner and it stopped at every pig pen along the way. The captain’s children had been washed overboard. We never thought much about the lifesaving, either. They served for all of the 78 years the station stayed in commission. Bos’n Midgett and his crew, despite rough seas, pulled the men from the burning water and secured the two lifeboats onto their craft and brought all the British sailors to safety. The two met at a … § 500. The family had a reunion in Cape May this summer when Bridget graduated. His favorite duty was on the Coast Guard cutter Ingham. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole J. Groll) by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicole J. Groll. Part of the reason for their seafaring aptitude is geographical. The Midgett family has lived on the Outer Banks, famous for shipwrecks, since the 1700s. I was standing between Jack Midgett, the commander at the time, and a cousin, the three of us there on the bow.”. Three other Midgetts became keepers at that same post through 1915. Grandpa Lew told his family gathered in Cape May this summer that in 1972, after the cutter Midgett had been commissioned, it anchored in Morehead City, North Carolina for a special Midgett Day celebration. By the time we got to Cape May, we were covered with soot.”. None of the other four military branches has had so many members of one extended family serve the country for so many years. Facing Pamlico Sound, it was southernmost of the seven original lifeboat stations on the Outer Banks, 11 miles north of Cape Hatteras Light, which was manned by members of the Midgett family. He returned to Cape May in 1951 as a boiler tender. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “He wanted to be a Coast Guard aviator, fly helicopters and save lives. “Be a fisherman or join the Coast Guard. It lists the loss of 16 Coast Guard vessels and the loss of 12 Coast Guard manned Navy vessels, but two of these (one Navy and one CG) were actually after the war was over. I couldn’t wait to join the military. By Anna Gragert on August 5, 2015 . Learn how your comment data is processed. “Three years ago at Christmas,” Lew recalls, “they asked me to come back to my old family house, sit on the couch and tell stories, for people attending the holiday house tour.” The home has been completely restored, and is considered one of the historical houses in town. , fuel and oil, exploded, bursting into flame, the National ran. How the Coast Guard captain for three weeks and filmed during harrowing Rescues electricians, carpenters or school teachers put... Thomas J. Lancaster became stranded and was breaking coast guard documentary saving lives a Greek documentary filmmaker who lives and works in night... 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