Lifesavers of the South Shore|
A History of Rescue and Loss
forward by Ralph Shanks
History Press, 127 pp, $19.99
"Boston is the birthplace of organized shore-based lifesaving for mariners in distress at sea in the United States," states John Galluzo at the beginning of his excellent history of the United States Coast Guard's infancy and subsequent development.
The Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts formed in the mid-1780s"...first placing "huts of refuge" along the shore. The Humane Society evolved into the U.S. Life-Saving Service. The first lifesaving station was established in the town of Cohasset and the Life-Saving Service eventually became the U. S. Coast Guard.
Historian Galluzzo's presentation of this ongoing sea rescue enterprise is as lively as its subject matter and the accompanying photographs convey the tenor (and technology) of the times. From the earliest efforts, Galluzzo traces the development of the service to the 1970s when the Coast Guard demolished or divested itself of most of its historic life saving stations...a sad day for all of us who admired them, drew a sense of order and safety from their presence and remember them fondly (even if the boys did occasionally ‘cut-up').
Mr. Galluzzo has produced a fact-filled and fascinating book...a rare combination. The photographs are well chosen and inspirational in terms of how huge an effort our forbearers made and how sophisticated we have become as we continue that effort.