On October 11, 1896, Richard Etheridge, a former slave from Roanoke Island, earned his stripes as a Surfman and the Keeper of the United States Life Saving Station #17 on Pea Island. That night in October, Richard Etheridge convinced his team of men to swim voluntarily into deadly waters during a hurricane to save a distressed ship of eight seamen aboard the E.S. Newman. Under Etheridge’s orders, the endangered crew of the E.S. Newman were brought to shore safely.
Richard Etheridge was a slave who was able to buy his way to freedom after the Civil War, before becoming a valued member of the Second North Carolina Colored Volunteers. After serving in the Union Army for three years, he returned to Roanoke to learn the ways of a shipman. He joined the surfmen in 1874 and was assigned to a “checkerboard” crew on Bodie Island (it was called checkerboard because it included both blacks and whites).
Etheridge knew he had to train twice as hard as any other member of the Station because he was black. By 1880, Etheridge was promoted to Keeper of USLSS #17 upon recommendation. On his first day, many white surfmen walked away from the station. Soon after, racists burned the station down to the ground. This did not stop Etheridge. He pushed his men to train hard, not giving way to the setback of discrimination.
The crew under command of Keeper Etheridge saved many crews during their years at the Pea Island watchtower. Some of them were the J.W. Gaskill and the Rosa Cora in the Pamlico Sound. Many of the ships they rescued were those that were believed to be too dangerous to reach by other nearby stations.
Etheridge died from disease carried by mosquitoes in 1900.
For many years, there was no distinction given to the men of the Pea Island Watchtower and USLSS #17. Then in 1996, the U.S. Coast Guard posthumously awarded Keeper Richard Etheridge and his surfmen the Gold Lifesaving Medal.
Although there is no mention of the surfman’s dedication to his crew or to the U.S. Coast Guard on his tombstone, his life is told in the book “Fire on the Beach” by David Zoby and David Wright.
One of the many Life-Saving Service Stations like that run by Etheridge is now a landmark called the Chicamacomico Life-Saving State Historic Site in Rodanthe, N.C.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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