In the heart of the Rodanthe Village on Hatteras Island lies a building rich in Maritime history. Explore one of the most accomplished sites in North Carolina. Dive deep into the history of each building or venture into the museum to find heroic stories of the past.
The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station is one of the most historic maritime sites on the East Coast. Built-in the late 1800s, this celebrated site was the first of seven in North Carolina. They began the building process with an essential structure. This building housed critical components of the lifesaving station. Here you will find the vital tools they use to conduct drills and make rescues. Today, Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station features two of its original buildings. You will discover other significant structures as you explore the grounds, such as a cookhouse, stable, and cistern.
The 1918 rescue, “Mirlo,” is recognized as one of the top maritime rescues in U.S. Coast Guard history. The Atlantic was booming during World War I. After a German U-boat struck a British tanker, 42 men were left behind. Lucky for them, the surfman of the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station was there to bring them ashore. Another amazing rescue occurred in 1899. While on horse patrol, Surfman, Rasmus Midgett, single handily pulled ten men from the fiery Atlantic. In the museum, you can see artifacts and photographs from these historic rescues and many others.
Plan your visit accordingly. Guided tours and self-guided tours are offered Monday thru Friday, 10 am-4 pm. General admission is $8, and free re-admission is provided one week after your ticket sale date. The entrance fee is used entirely to restore and preserve the non-profit site. Self-guided tours are available with each purchased ticket. Freely walk the premises and uncover the history yourself. If you are looking for a group guided tour, the regular rate is $10. They ask that you call at least two weeks in advance to book your reservation. Guided tours can accommodate groups of up to 20 people and include a speaker to discuss the history of the lifesaving station in depth.
The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station aims to restore, preserve, protect, and educate the public. They are open from mid-April through November. While you are visiting Hatteras Island, find yourself submerged in the rich history of the deep blue! Whether you are a history junkie or simply have a love of the sea, this is a site you do not want to miss!