Life-Boat, And Life-Saving Service
LIFE-BOAT, AND LIFE-SAVING SERVICE. The article on DROWNING AND LITE-SAVING (g.v.) deals generally with the means of saving life at sea, but under this heading it is convenient to include the appliances connected specially with the life-boat service. The ordinary open boat is unsuited for life-saving in a stormy sea, and numerous contrivances, in regard to which the lead came from England, have been made for securing the best type of life-boat.
The first life-boat was conceived and designed by Lionel Lukin, a London coachbuilder, in 1785. Encouraged by the prince of Wales (George IV.), Lukin fitted up a Norway yawl as a life-boat, took out a patent for it, and wrote a pamphlet descriptive of his " Insubmergible Boat." Buoyancy he obtained by means of a projecting gunwale of cork and air-chambers inside one of these being at the bow, another at the stern. Stability he secured by a false iron keel. The self-righting and self- emptying principles he seems not to have thought of; at all events he did not compass them. Despite the patronage of the prince, Lukin went to his grave a neglected and disappointed man. But he was not altogether unsuccessful, for, at the request of the Rev Dr Shairp, Lukin fitted up a coble as an " unimmergible " life-boat, which was launched at Bamborough, saved several lives the first year and afterwards saved many lives and much property.
Public apathy in regard to shipwreck was temporally swept away by the wreck of the " Adventure " of Newcastle in 1789. This vessel was stranded only 300 yds. from the shore, and her crew dropped, one by one, into the raging breakers in presence of thousands of spectators, none of whom dared to put off in an ordinary boat to the rescue. An excited meeting among the people of South Shields followed; a committee was formed, and premiums were offered for the best models of a life-boat. This called forth many plans, of which those of William Wouldhave, a painter, and Henry Greathead, a boatbuilder, of South Shields, were selected. The committee awarded the prize to the latter, and, adopting the good points of both models, gave the order for the construction of their boat to Greathead. This boat was rendered buoyant by nearly 7 cwts. of cork, and had very raking stem and stern-posts, with great curvature of keel. It did good service, and Greathead was well rewarded; nevertheless no other life-boat was launched till 1798, when the duke of Northumberland ordered Greathead to build him a life-boat which he endowed. This boat also did good service, and its owner ordered another in 1800 for Oporto. In the same year Mr Cathcart Dempster ordered one for St Andrews, where, two years later, it saved twelve lives. Thus the value of life-boats began to be recognized, and before the end of 1803 Greathead had built thirty-one boats eighteen for England, five for Scotland and eight for foreign lands. Nevertheless, public interest in life-boats was not thoroughly aroused till 1823.
In that year Sir William Hillary, Bart., stood forth to champion the life-boat cause. Sir William dwelt in the Isle of Man, and had assisted with his own hand in the saving of three hundred and five lives. In conjunction with two members of parliament Mr Thomas Wilson and Mr George Hibbert Hillary founded the " Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck." This, perhaps the grandest of England's charitable societies, and now named the " Royal National Life-boat Institution," was founded on the 4th of March 1824. The king patronized it; the archbishop of Canterbury presided at its birth; the most eloquent men in the land among them Wilberforce pleaded the cause; nevertheless, the institution began its career with a sum of only 9826. In the first year twelve new life-boats were built and placed at different stations, besides which thirty-nine life-boats had been stationed on the British shores by benevolent individuals and by independent associations over which the institution exercised no control though it often assisted them. In its early years the institution placed the mortar apparatus of Captain Manby at many stations, and provided for the wants of sailors and others saved from shipwreck, a duty subsequently discharged by the " Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners' Royal Benevolent Society."
At the date of the institution's second report it had contributed to the saving of three hundred and forty-two lives, either by its own life-saving apparatus or by other means for which it had granted rewards. With fluctuating success, both as regards means and results, the institution continued its good work saving many lives, and occasionally losing a few brave men in its tremendous battles with the sea. Since the adoption of the self-righting boats, loss of life in the service has been comparatively small and infrequent.
Towards the middle of the 19th century the life-boat cause appeared to lose interest with the British public, though the lifesaving work was prosecuted with unremitting zeal, but the increasing loss of life by shipwreck, and a few unusually severe disasters to life-boats, brought about the reorganization of the society in 1850. The Prince Consort became vice-patron of the institution in conjunction with the king of the Belgians, and Queen Victoria, who had been its patron since her accession, became an annual contributor to its funds. In 1851 the duke of Northumberland became president, and from that time forward a tide of prosperity set in, unprecedented in the history of benevolent institutions, both in regard to the great work accomplished and the pecuniary aid received. In 1850 its committee undertook the immediate superintendence of all the life-boat work on the coasts, with the aid of local committees. Periodical inspections, quarterly exercise of crews, fixed rates of payments to coxswains and men, and quarterly reports were instituted, at the time when the self-righting self-emptying boat came into being. This boat was the result of a hundred-guinea prize, offered by the president, for the best model of a life-boat, with another hundred to defray the cost of a boat built on the model chosen. In reply to the offer no fewer than two hundred and eighty models were sent in, not only from all parts of the United Kingdom, but from France, Germany, Holland and the United States of America. The prize was gained by Mr James Beeching of Great Yarmouth, whose model, slightly modified by Mr James Peake, one of the committee of inspection, was still further improved as time and experience suggested (see below).
The necessity of maintaining a thoroughly efficient life-boat service is now generally recognized by the people not only ot Great Britain, but also of those other countries on the European Continent and America which have a sea-board, and of the British colonies, and numerous life-boat services have been founded more or less on the lines of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The British Institution was again reorganized in 1883; it has since greatly developed both in its life-saving efficiency and financially, and has been spoken of in the highest terms as regards its management by successive governments a Select Committee of the House of Commons in 1897 reporting to the House that the thanks of the whole community were due to the Institution for its energy and good management. On the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 she was succeeded as patron of the Institution by Edward VII., who as prince of Wales had been its president for several years. At the close of 1908 the Institution's fleet consisted of 280 life-boats, and the total number of lives for the saving of which the committee of management had granted rewards since the establishment of the Institution in 1824 was 47,983. At this time there were only seventeen life-boats on the coast of the United Kingdom which did not belong to the Institution. In 1882 the total amount of money received by the Institution from all sources was 57,797, whereas in 1901 the total amount received had increased to 107,293. In 1908 the receipts were 115,303, the expenditure 90,335.
In 1882 the Institution undertook, with the view of diminishing the loss of life among the coast fishermen, to provide the masters and owners of fishing-vessels with trustworthy aneroid barometers, at about a third of the retail price, and in 1883 the privilege was extended to the masters and owners of coasters under 100 tons burden. At the end of 1901 as many as 4417 of these valuable instruments had been supplied. In 1889 the committee of management secured the passing of the Removal of Wrecks Act 1877 Amendment Act, which provides for the removal of wrecks in nonnavigable waters which might prove dangerous to life-boat crews LIFE-BOAT, AND LIFE-SAVING SERVICE and others. Under its provisions numerous highly dangerous wrecks have been removed.
In 1893 the chairman of the Institution moved a resolution in the House of Commons that, in order to decrease the serious loss of life from shipwreck on the coast, the British Government should provide either telephonic or telegraphic communication between all the coast-guard stations and signal stations on the coast of the United Kingdom ; and that where there are no coast-guard stations the post offices nearest to the life-boat stations should be electrically connected, the object being to give the earliest possible information to the life-boat authorities at all times, by day and night, when the life-boats are required for service; and further, that a Royal Commission should be appointed to consider the desirability of electrically connecting the rock lighthouses, light-ships, etc., with the shore. The resolution was agreed to without a division, and its intention has been practically carried out, the results obtained having proved most valuable in the saving of life.
On the 1st of January 1898 a pension and gratuity scheme was introduced by the committee of management, under which life-boat coxswains, bowmen and signalmen of long and meritorious service, retiring on account of old age, accident, ill-health or abolition of office, receive special allowances as a reward for their good services. While these payments act as an incentive to the men to discharge their duties satisfactorily, they at the same time assist the committee of management in their effort to obtain the best men for the work. For many years the Institution has given compensation to any who may have received injury while employed in the service, besides granting liberal help to the widows and dependent relatives of any in the service who lose their own lives when endeavouring to rescue others.
A very marked advance in improvement in design and suitability for service has been made in the life-boat since the reorganization of the Institution in 1883, but principally since FIG. I. The 33-ft., Double-banked, Ten-oared, Self-righting and Self -empty ing Life-boat (1881) of the Institution on its Transporting Carriage, ready for launching.
1887, when, as the result of an accident in December 1886 to two self-righting life-boats in Lancashire, twenty-seven out of twenty-nine of the men who manned them were drowned. At this time a permanent technical sub-committee was appointed by the Institution, whose object was, with the assistance of an eminent consulting naval architect a new post created and the Institution's official experts, to give its careful attention to the designing of improvements in the life-boat and its equipment, and to the scientific consideration of any inventions or proposals submitted by the public, with a view to adopting them if of practical utility. Whereas in 1881 the self-righting life-boat of that time was looked upon as the Institution's special life-boat, and there were very few life-boats in the Institution's fleet not of that type, at the close of 1901 the life-boats of the Institution included 60 non-self-righting boats of various types, known by the following designations: Steam life-boats 4, Cromer 3, Lamb and White i, Liverpool 14, Norfolk and Suffolk 19, tubular i, Watson 18. In 1901 a steam-tug was placed at Padstow for use solely in conjunction with the life-boats on the north coast of Cornwall. The self-righting life-boat of 1901 was a very different boat from that of 1881. The Institution's present policy is to allow the men who man the life-boats, after having seen and tried by deputation the various types, to select that in which they have the most confidence.
The present life-boat of the self-righting type (fig. 2) differs materially from its predecessor, the stability being increased and the righting power greatly improved. The test of efficiency in this last quality was formerly considered sufficient if the boat would quickly right herself in smooth water without her crew and gear, but every self-righting life-boat now built by the Institution will right with her full crew and gear on board, with her sails set and the anchor down. Most of the larger self-righting boats are furnished with " centre-boards " or BODY PLAN.
FIG. 2. Plans, Profile and Section of Modern English Selfrighting Life-boat.
A, Deck. E, B, Relieving valves for automatic dis- F, charge of water off deck.
C, Side air-cases above deck.
D, End air compartments, usually G, called " end-boxes," an important H, factor in self-righting.
Wale, or fender.
Iron keel ballast, important in general stability and self-righting.
" drop-keels " of varying size and weight, which can be used at pleasure, and materially add to their weather qualities. The drop-keel was for the first time placed in a life-boat in 1885.
Steam was first introduced into a life-boat in 1890, when the Institution, after very full inquiry and consideration, DECK PIAN.
FIG. 3. Plans, Profile and Section of English Steam Life-boat.
A, Cockpit. a, Deck.
6, Propeller hatch.
c, Relief valves.
D, Water-tight compartments.
G, Hatches to engine-and boiler- rooms.
H, Cable reel. I, Anchor davit.
stationed on the coast a steel life-boat, 50 ft. long and 12 ft. beam, and a depth of 3 ft. 6 in., propelled by a turbine wheel driven by engines developing 170 horse-power. It had been previously held by all competent judges that a mechanicallypropelled life-boat, suitable for service in heavy weather, was a problem surrounded by so many and great difficulties that even the most sanguine experts dared not hope for an early solution of it. This type of boat (fig. 3) has proved very useful. It is, however, fully recognized that boats of this description can necessarily be used at only a very limited number of stations, and where there is a harbour which never dries out. The highest speed attained by the first hydraulic steam life-boat was rather more than 9 knots, and that secured in the latest 95 knots. In 1909 the fleet of the Institution included 4 steam life-boats and 8 motor life-boats. The experiments with motor life-boats in previous years had proved successful.
The other types of pulling and sailing life-boats are all nonself-righting, and are specially suitable for the requirements of the different parts of the coast on which they are placed. Their various qualities will be understood by a glance at the illustrations (figs. 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8).
The Institution continues to build life-boats of different sizes according to the requirements of the various points of the coast at which they are placed, but of late years the tendency has been generally to increase the dimensions of the boats. This change of policy is mainly due to the fact that the small BODY PIAH. MIDSHIP SCCTIOM.
FIG. 4. Plans, Profile and Section of Cromer Type of Life-boat.
A, Deck. C, Side air-cases above deck.
B, Relieving valves for auto- E, Wale, or fender.
matic discharge of water off G, Water-ballast tanks, deck.
coasters and fishing-boats have in great measure disappeared, their places being taken by steamers and steam trawlers. The cost of the building and equipping of pulling and sailing lifeboats has materially increased, more especially since 1898, the increase being mainly due to improvements and the seriously augmented charges for materials and labour. In 1881 the average cost of a fully-equipped life-boat and carriage was 650, whereas at the end of 1901 it amounted to 1000, the average annual cost of maintaining a station having risen to about 125.
The trans parting-carriage continues to be a most important part of the equipment of life-boats, generally of the self-righting type, and is indispensable where it is necessary to launch the boats at any point not in the immediate vicinity of the boathouse. It is not, however, usual to supply carriages to boats of larger dimensions than 37 ft. in length by 9 ft. beam, those in excess as regards length and beam being either launched by means of special slipways or kept afloat. The transportingcarriage of to-day has been rendered particularly useful at places where the beach is soft, sandy or shingly, by the introduction in 1888 of Tipping's sand-plates. They are composed of an endless plateway or jointed wheel tyre fitted to the main wheels of the carriage, thereby enabling the boat to be transferred with rapidity and with greatly decreased labour over beach and soft sand. Further efficiency in launching has also been attained at many stations by the introduction in 1890 of pushing-poles, attached to the transporting-carriages, and MIDSHIP SECTION.
FIG. 5. Plans, Profile and Section of Liverpool Type of Life-boat. A, B, C, E, G, as in fig. 3; D, end air-compartments; F, iron keel; H, drop-keels.
of horse launching-poles, first used in 1892. Fig. 9 gives a view of the modern transporting-carriage fitted with Tipping's sand- or wheel-plates.
The life-belt has since 1898 been considerably improved, being now less cumbersome than formerly, and more comfortable. The feature of the principal improvement is the reduction in length of the corks under the arms of the wearer and the roundingoff of the upper portions, the result being that considerably more freedom is provided for the arms. The maximum extra buoyancy has thereby been reduced from 25 Ib to 22 Ib, which is more than sufficient to support a man heavily clothed with his head and shoulders above the water, or to enable him to FIG. 6. Plans, Profile and Section of Norfolk and Suffolk Type of Life-boat. A, B, E, F, G, H, as in fig. 4; A, side deck; I, cablewell.
support another person besides himself. Numerous life-belts of very varied descriptions, and made of all sorts of materials, have been patented, but it is generally agreed that for life-boat work the cork life-belt of the Institution has not yet been equalled.
Life-saving rafts, seats for ships' decks, dresses, buoys, belts. etc. t LIFE-BOAT, AND LIFE-SAVING SERVICE have been produced in all shapes and sizes, but apparently nothing indispensable has as yet been brought out. Those interested in life-saving appliances were hopeful that the Paris Exhibition of 1900 would have produced some life-saving invention which might prove a benefit to the civilized world, but so lacking in real merit were the life-saving exhibits that the jury of experts were unable to award to any of the 435 competitors the Andrew Pollok prize of 4000 for the best method or device for saving life from shipwreck.
The rocket apparatus, which in the United Kingdom is under the management of the coast-guard, renders excellent service in life-saving. This, next to the life-boat, is the most important and successful means by which shipwrecked persons are rescued on the British shores. Many vessels are cast every year on the rocky parts of the coasts, under cliffs, where no life-boat could be of service. In such places the rocket alone is available.
The rocket apparatus consists of five principal parts, viz. the rocket, the rocket-line, the whip, the hawser and the sling 1 life-buoy. The mode of working it is as follows. A rocket, having a light line attached to it, is fired over the wreck. By means of this line the wrecked crew haul out the whip, which is a double or endless line, rove through a block with a tail attached to it. The tail-block, having been detached from the rocket-line, is fastened to a mast, or other portion of the wreck, high above the water. By means of the whip the rescuers haul off the hawser, to which is hung the travelling or sling life-buoy. When one end of the .hawser has been made fast to the mast, about 18 in. above the whip, and its other end to tackle fixed to an anchor on shore, the life-buoy is run out by the rescuers, and the shipwrecked persons, getting into it one at a time, are hauled ashore. Sometimes, in cases of urgency, the life-buoy is worked by means of the whip alone, without the hawser. Captain G. W. Manby, F.R.S., in 1807 invented, or at least introduced, the mortar apparatus, on which the system of the rocket apparatus, which superseded it in England, is founded. Previously, however, in 1791, the idea of throwing a rope from a wreck to the shore by means of a shell from a mortar had occurred to Serjeant Bell of the Royal Artillery, and about the same time, to a Frenchman named La Fere, both of whom made successful experiments with their apparatus. In the same year (1807) a rocket was proposed by Mr Trengrouse of Helston in Cornwall, also a hand and lead line as means of communicating with vessels in distress. The heavingcane_ was a fruit of the latter suggestion. In 1814 forty-five mortar stations were established, and Manby received 2000, in addition to previous grants, in acknowledgment of the good service rendered by his invention. Mr John Dennett of Newport, Isle of Wight, introduced the rocket, which was afterwards extensively used. In 1826 four places in the Isle of Wight were supplied with Dennett's rockets, but it was not till after government had taken the apparatus nffin FIG. 9. Life-boat Transporting-Carriage with Tipping's Wheel-Plates.
under its own control, in 1855, that the rocket invented by Colonel Boxer was adopted. Its peculiar characteristic lies in the combination of two rockets in one case, one being a continuation of the other, so that, after the first compartment has carried the machine to its full elevation, the second gives it an additional impetus whereby a great increase of range is obtained. (R. M.B.;C. Dl.)
UNITED STATES. In the extent of coast line covered, magnitude of operations and the extraordinary success which has crowned its efforts, the life-saving service of the United States is not surpassed by any other institution of its kind in the world. Notwithstanding the exposed and dangerous nature of the coasts flanking and stretching between the approaches to the principal seaports, and the immense amount of shipping concentrating upon them, the loss of life among a total of 121,459 persons imperilled by marine casualty within the scope of the operations of the service from its organization in 1871 to the 3oth of June 1907, was less than i %, and even this small proportion is made up largely of persons washed overboard immediately upon the striking of vessels and before any assistance could reach them, or lost in attempts to land in their own boats, and people thrown into the sea by the capsizing of small craft. In the scheme of the service, next in importance to the saving of life is the saving of property from marine disaster, for which no salvage or reward is allowed. During the period named vessels and cargoes to the value of nearly two hundred million dollars were saved, while only about a quarter as much was lost.The first government life-saving stations were plain boat-houses erected on the coast of New Jersey in 1848, each equipped with a fisherman's surf-boat and a mortar and life-car with accessories. Prior to this time, as early as 1789, a benevolent organization known as the Massachusetts Humane Society had erected rude huts along the coast of that state, followed by a station at Cohasset in 1807 equipped with a boat for use by volunteer crews. Others were subsequently added. Between 1849 and 1870 this society secured appropriations from Congress aggregating $40,000. It still maintains sixty-nine stations on the Massachusetts coast. The government service was extended in 1849 to the coast of Long Island, and in 1850 one station was placed on the Rhode Island coast. In 1854 the appointment of keepers for the New Jersey and Long Island stations, and a superintendent for each of these coasts, was authorized by law. Volunteer crews were depended upon until 1870, when Congress authorized crews at each alternate station for the three winter months.
The present system was inaugurated in 1871 by Sumner I. Kimball, who in that year was appointed chief of the Revenue Cutter Service, which had charge of the few existing stations. He recommended an appropriation of $200,000 and authority for the employment of crews for all stations foi such periods as were deemed necessary, which were granted. The existing stations were thoroughly overhauled and put in condition for the housing of crews; necessary boats and equipment were furnished; incapable keepers, who had been appointed largely for political reasons, were supplanted by experienced men; additional stations were established; all were manned by capable surfmen; the merit system for appointments and promotions was inaugurated; a beach patrol system was introduced, together with a system of signals; and regulations for the government of the service were promulgated. The result of the transformation was immediate and striking. At the end of the year it was found that not a life had been lost within the domain of the service; and at the end of the second year the record was .almost identical, but one life having been lost, although the service had been extended to embrace the dangerous coast of Cape Cod. Legislation was subsequently secured, totally eliminating politics in the choice of officers and men, and making other provisions necessary for the completion of the system. The service continued to grow in extent and importance until, in 1878, it was separated from the Revenue Cutter Service and organized into a separate bureau of the Treasury, its administration being placed in the hands of a general superintendent appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate, his term of office being limited only by the will of the president. Mr Kimball was appointed to the position, which he still held in 1909.
The service embraces thirteen districts, with 280 stations located at selected points upon the sea and lake coasts. Nine districts on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts contain 201 stations, including nine houses of refuge on the Florida coast, each in charge of a keeper only, without crews; three districts on the Great Lakes contain 61 stations, including one at the falls of the Ohio river, Louisville, Kentucky; and one district on the Pacific coast contains 18 stations, including one at Nome, Alaska.
The general administration of the service is conducted by a general superintendent; an inspector of life-saving stations and two superintendents of construction of life-saving stations detailed from the Revenue Cutter Service; a district superintendent for each district; and assistant inspectors of stations, also detailed from the Revenue Cutter Service " to perform such duties in connexion with the conduct of the service as the general superintendent may require." There is also an advisory board on life-saving appliances consisting of experts, to consider devices and inventions submitted by the general superintendent.
Station crews are composed of a keeper and from six to eight surfmen, with an additional man during the winter months at most of the stations on the Atlantic coast. The surfmen are reenlisted from year to year during good behaviour, subject to a thorough physical examination. The keepers are also subject to annual physical examinations after attaining the age of fifty-five. Stations on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are manned from August 1st to May 3ist. On the lakes the active season covers the period of navigation, from about April 1st to early in December. The falls station at Louisville, and all stations on the Pacific coast, are in commission continuously. One station, located in Dorchester Bay, an expanse of water within Boston harbour, where numerous yachts rendezvous and many accidents occur, which, with the one at Louisville are believed to be the only floating life-saving stations in the world, is manned from May 1st to November I5th. Its equipment includes a steam tug and two gasoline launches, the latter being harboured in a slip cut into the after-part of the station and extending from the stern to nearly amidships. The Louisville stations guard the falls of the Ohio river, where life is much endangered from accidents to vessels passing over the falls and small craft which are liable to be drawn into the chutes while attempting to cross the river. Its equipment includes two river skiffs which can be instantly launched directly from the ways at one end of the station. These skiffs are small boats modelled much like surf -boats, designed to be rowed by one or two men. Other equipments are provided for the salvage of property. The stations, located as near as practicable to a launching place, contain as a rule convenient quarters for the residence of the keeper and crew and a boat and apparatus room. In some instances the dwelling- and boat-house are built separately. Each station has a look-out tower for the day watch.
The principal apparatus consists of surf- and life-boats, Lyle gun and breeches-buoy apparatus and life-car. The Hunt gun and Cunningham line-carrying rocket are available at selected stations on account of their greater range, but their use is rarely necessary. The crews are drilled daily in some portion of rescue work, as practice in manoeuvring, upsetting and righting boats, with the breechesbuoy, in the resuscitation of the apparently drowned and in signalling. The district officers upon their quarterly visits examine the crews orally and by drill, recording the proficiency of each member, including the keeper, which record accompanies their report to the general superintendent. For watch and patrol the day of twenty-four hours is divided into periods of four or five hours each. Day watches are stood by one man in the look-out tower or at some other point of vantage, while two men are assigned to each night watch between sunset and sunrise. One of the men remains on watch at the station, dividing his time between the beach look-out and visits to the telephone at specified intervals to receive messages, the service telephone system being extended from station to station nearly throughout the service, with watch telephones at half-way points. The other man patrols the beach to the end of his beat and returns, when he takes the look-out and his watchmate patrols in the opposite direction. A like patrol and watch is maintained in thick or stormy weather in the daytime. Between adjacent stations a record of the patrol is made by the exchange of brass checks; elsewhere the patrolman carries a watchman's clock, on the dial of which he records the time of his arrival at the keypost which marks the end of his beat. On discovering a vessel standing into danger the patrolman burns a Coston signal, which emits a brilliant red flare, to warn the vessel of her danger. The number of vessels thus warned averages about two hundred in each year, whereby great losses are averted, the extent of which can never be known. When a stranded vessel is discovered, the patrolman's Coston signal apprises the crew that they -are seen and assistance is at hand. He then notifies his station, by telephone if possible. When such notice is received at the station, the keeper determines the means with which to attempt a rescue, whether by boat or beach-apparatus. If the beach-apparatus is chosen, the apparatus cart is hauled to a point directly opposite the wreck by horses, kept at most of the stations during the inclement months, or by the members of the crew. The gear is unloaded, and while being set up the members of the crew performing their several allotted parts simultaneously the keeper fires a line over the wreck with the Lyle gun, a small bronze cannon weighing, with its I81b elongated iron projectile to which the line is attached, slightly more than 200 ft, and having an extreme range of about 700 yds., though seldom available at wrecks for more than 400 yds. This Ean was the invention of Lieutenant (afterwards Colonel) David A. yle, U.S. Army. Shotline? are of three sizes, j^, ,s and ^ of an inch diameter, designated respectively Nos. 4, 7 and 9. The two larger are ordinarily used, the No. 4 for extreme range. A line having been fired within reach of the persons on the wreck, an endless rope rove through a tail-block is sent out by it with instructions, printed in English and French on a tally-board, to make the tail fast td a mast or other elevated portion of the wreck. This done, a 3-in. hawser is bent on to the whip and hauled off to the wreck, to be made fast a little above the tail-block, after which the shore end is hauled taut over a crotch by means of tackle attached to a sand anchor. From this hawser the breeches-buoy or life-car is suspended and drawn between the ship and shore of the endless whip-line. The life-car can also be drawn like a boat between ship and shore without the use of a hawser. The breeches-buoy is a cork life-buoy to which is attached a pair of short canvas breeches, the whole suspended from a traveller block by suitable lanyards. It usually carries one person at a time, although two have frequently been brought ashore together. The life-car, first introduced in 1848, is a boat of corrugated iron with a convex iron cover, having a hatch in the top for the admission of passengers, which can be fastened either from within or without, and a few perforations to admit air, with raised edges to exclude water. At wreck operations during the night the shore is illuminated by powerful acetylene (calcium carbide) lights. If any of the rescued persons are frozen, as often happens, or are injured or sick, first aid and simple remedies are furnished them. Dry clothing, supplied by the Women's National Relief Association, is also furnished to survivors, which the destitute are allowed to keep.
however, have now been transformed into power boats without the sacrifice of any of their essential qualities. The installation of power is effected by introducing a 25 H.P. four-cycle gasoline motor, weighing with its fittings, tanks, etc., about 800 Ib. The engine is Scale of Feel AC: Air Chamber (air tight copper tanks, moulded to fit the spaces they occupy, 82 la number)
FIG. 10. American Power Life-boat.
Several types of light open surf-boats are used, adapted to the special requirements of the different localities and occasions. They are built of cedar, from 23 to 27 ft. long, and are provided with end air chambers and longitudinal air cases on each side under the thwarts.
installed in the after air chamber, with the starting crank, reversing clutches, etc., recessed into the bulkhead to protect them from accidents. These boats attain a speed of from 7 to 9 m. an hour, and have proved extremely efficient. A new power life-boat (fig. 10) on somewhat improved lines, 36 ft. in length, and equipped with FIG. ii. Beebe-McLellan Self-bailing Boat.
Self-righting and self-bailing life-boats, patterned after those used in England and other countries, have heretofore been used at most of the Lake stations and at points on the ocean coast where they can be readily launched from ways. Most of these boats, a 35-4 H.P. gasoline engine, promises to prove still more efficient. A number of surf-boats have also been equipped with gasoline engines of from 5 to 7 H.P., for light and quick work, with very satisfactory results.
A distinctively American life-boat extensively used is the BeebeMcLellan self -bailing boat (fig. n), which for all round life-saving work is held in the highest esteem. It possesses all the qualities of the self-righting and self-bailing life-boats in use in all life-saving institutions, except that of self-righting; and the sacrifice of this quality is largely counteracted by the ease with which it can be righted by its crew when capsized. For accomplishing this the crews are thoroughly drilled. In drill a trained crew can upset and numerous branches with local committees. The Imperial government contributes an annual subsidy of 20,000 yen (2000). The members of the Institution consist of three classes honorary, ordinary and sub-ordinary, the amount contributed by the member determining the class in which he is placed. The chairman and council are not, as in Great Britain, appointed by the subscribers, but by the president, who must always be a member of the imperial family. The Institution bestows three medals: (a) the meda) of Scale of Feet _4 5 FIG. 12. Details of boat shown in Fig. 10.
right the boat and resume their places at the oars in twenty seconds. The boat is built of cedar, weighs about 1200 Ib, and can be used at all stations and launched by the crew directly off the beach from the boat-wagon especially made for it. The self-bailing quality is secured- by a water-tight deck at a level a little above the load water line with relieving tubes fitted with valves through which any water shipped runs back into the sea by gravity. Air cases along the sides under the thwarts, inclining towards the middle of the boat, minimize the quantity of water taken in, and the water-ballast tank in the bottom increases the stability by the weight of the water which can be admitted by opening the valve. When transported along the land it is empty. The Beebe-McLellan boat is 25 ft. long, 7 ft. beam, and will carry 12 to 15 persons in addition to its crew. Some of these boats, intended for use in localities where the temperature of the water will not permit of frequent upsetting and righting drills, are built with end air cases which render them self-righting.
In addition to the principal appliances described, a number of minor importance are included in the equipment of every life-saving station, such as launching carriages for life-boats, roller boat-skids, heaving sticks and all necessary tools. Members of all life-saving crews are required on all occasions of boat practice or duty at wrecks to wear life-belts of the prescribed pattern. (A. T. T.)
Life-boat Service in other Countries. Good work is done by the life-boat service in other countries, most of these institutions having been formed on the lines of the Royal National Life-boat Institution of Great Britain. The services are operating in the following countries:
Belgium. Established in 1838. Supported entirely by government.
Denmark. Established in 1848. Government service.
Sweden. Established in 1856. Government service.
France. Established in 1865. Voluntary association, but assisted by the government.
Germany. Established in 1885. Supported entirely by voluntary contributions.
Turkey (Black Sea). Established in 1868. Supported by dues.
Russia. Established in 1872. Voluntary association, but receiving an annual grant from the government.
Italy. Established in 1879. Voluntary association.
Spain. Established in 1880. Voluntary association, but receiving annually a grant of 1440 from government.
Canada. Established in 1880. Government service.
Holland. Established in 1884. Voluntary association, but assisted by a government subsidy.
Norway. Established in 1891. Voluntary association, but receiving a small annual grant from government.
Portugal. Established in 1898. Voluntary society.
India (East Coast). Voluntary association.
Australia (South). Voluntary association.
New Zealand. Voluntary association.
Japan. The National Life-boat Institution of Japan was founded .in 1889. It is a voluntary society, assisted by government. Its attairs are managed by a president and a vice-president, supported by a very influential council. The head office is at T6ky& ; there are merit, to be awarded to persons rendering distinguished service to the Institution; (b) the medal of membership, to be held by honorary and ordinary members or subscribers ; and (c) the medal of praise, which is bestowed on those distinguishing themselves by special service in the work of rescue.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)