Rescue at sea (II)

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A couple of weeks ago, for Thanksgiving, I went back to Westport, MA to visit some family friends. When I was there on the 4th of July, I found out that the town had recently recovered an old, 19th century rescue boat that once patrolled the waters around nearby Cuttyhunk Island. At the time, I didn’t have any pictures of the boat, but I spoke with local architect Chip Gillespie this Thanksgiving, and he graciously agreed to email me some photos. The shot above shows the boat as it appeared in this year’s 4th of July parade.

The boat was originally stored in a small “rescue station” on Horseneck Point, near the Westport Harbor. To get her out to sea, the townspeople lifted her onto a horse-drawn wagon and drove her to the water’s edge. The area around the rescue station once bustled with restaurants, bars, and resorts; eventually it, too, was turned into a restaurant when the U.S. Coastguard assumed responsibility for protecting American waters. In 1938, a hurricane destroyed almost all of the surrounding buildings, but the old rescue station was left intact. Now Mr. Gillespie is leading a fundraising effort to restore the building to its former glory and create a small rescue museum.

I’ve put a couple more photographs of the boat and what the rescue station might look like once it’s restored after the jump…

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