The photo above is one I took of the old Sandy Hook, New Jersey, lifesaving station. I pasted in the unofficial motto of the U.S. Lifesaving Service. The building was inundated with water during Hurricane Sandy and has not been restored--yet. I hope it will be. Before it was ruined by the hurricane, it was used as a museum. I visited it many times and listened to historians explain how the surfmen used specific apparatus to save the people on the ships caught in the shoals during storms.
There is another lifesaving station nearby in Monmouth Beach, which is now used as a community cultural center.
The U.S. Lifesaving Service eventually became the U.S. Coast Guard. You can read more about the history at http://www.uscg.mil/tcyorktown/ops/nmlbs/Surf/surf1.asp
My book, OUTSIDE BLESSINGS, includes the story of a young surfman and his experience in the lifesaving service. So if you enjoy reading about brave men, wicked winter storms, and lots of churning water check into OUTSIDE BLESSINGS at http://amzn.com/B01E91IAX4