| MAN OVERBOARD! TO YOUR STA-
TIONS! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
The voice on the loudspeaker was that
of Lt.Dave Smith, acting skippert of the
Coast Guard Cutter Sundew.
The occasion was one of the most dra-
matic moments in the long histry of the
Coast Guard at Charlevoix.
A cargo boat carrying supplies to white
shoal lighthouse had swamped in icy
water a quarter of a mile from the cutter.
* * *
MAN ABOARD the Sundew knew only
that some of their number were in trouble
and that survival time in near freezing
water is sometimes measured in seconds,
or a few minutes at best.
The swift actions that followed --- in-
cluding the order to take the Sundew into
shallow shoal waters where she had
never ventured before --- are enough to
make every Charleboixan proud of the Sundew and her gallant crew.
* * *
OBSERVERS aboard ship were im
pressed with the calm authority with
which Lt.Smith's orders were given, and
the calm obedience with which they were
Every man sprang into action, with
hardly a lost motion. When the ship
drew abrcast of the foundering men, life-
lines, ring buoys and a cargo net were
standing ready. One man---John Lambing
---was already in his wet suit, prepared
to go into water after his shipmates.
"It went just like one of the drills,"
Lambing said later. "Everyone did, what
he was supposed to."
| The importance of getting Lake Michi-
gan's lights, fog horns and radio equip-
ment in running order before the ship-
ping season oens cannot be over-
emphasized. shoals and reefs make
nothern Lake Michigan one of the trick-
iest passages in the world. The lights at
White Shoal and Grays Reef are essential
to the safety of vessels visiting these
waters from all over the world.
* * *
CIVILIAN observers aboard the Sundew
last friday gained a new respect for
courage---Coast Guard style. It takes a
special breed of man to sail on Lake
Michigan in an open boat in a rising
March gale, as did the man who manned
the cargo boars supplying White Shoal
light. Special credit goes to the crew
headed by John schumacher who made
two trips back to the light after the first
cargo boat sank.
* * *
THE COAST GUARD is sometimes con-
sidered the most "civilian" of out military
services, possibly because of the im-
portant role Coast Guardsmen play in
protecting the lives and property of the
Yet no one could doubt the efficacy
of the militancy of the Coast Guard who
saw the Sundew crew in action off White
Shoal last Friday. The stakes were life
or death. Our Coasties played the game
to win from the first warning until the
last man was safely back on board.
Maybe it would be a good idea gor
Charlevoix to set March 18 aside as
our own Coast Guard Day.
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