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Upon the boat reaching your vessel, the directions and orders of the keeper (who always commands and steers the boat) should be implicitly obeyed. Any headlong rushing and crowding should be prevented, and the captain of the vessel should remain on board, to preserve order, until every other person has left. Women, children, helpless persons, and passengers should be passed into the boat first. Goods or baggage will positively not be taken into the boat until all are landed. If any be passed in against the keeper's remonstrance, he is fully authorized to throw the same overboard.
OR LIFE CAR
RESCUE WITH THE BREECHES BUOY
54. Should it be inexpedient to use either the life boat or surf boat, recourse will be had to the wreck gun and beach apparatus for the rescue by the breeches buoy or life car.
A shot with a small line attached will be fired across your vessel. Get hold of the line as soon as possible and haul
on board until you get a tail-block with a whip, or endless line, through it. This tail-block should be hauled on board as quickly as possible, to prevent the whip drifting off with the set or fouling with wreckage, etc. Therefore, if you have been driven into the rigging, where but one or two men can work to advantage, cut the shot line and run it through some available block, such as the throat or peak halyards block, or any block that will afford a clear lead, or even between the ratlines, that as many as possible may assist in hauling. Attached to the tail-block b, Fig. 16, will be a tally board a with the following directions in English on one side and French on the other: “Make the tail-block fast to the lower mast, well up. If masts are gone, then to the best place you can find. Cast off shot line, see that the rope in the block runs free, and show signal to the shore.” The above instructions being complied with, the result will be as shown in Fig. 16. As soon as your signal is seen, a 3-inch hawser will be bent on to the whip and hauled off to your ship by the life-saving crew.
If circumstances will admit, you can assist the life-saving crew by manning that part of the whip to which the hawser is bent and hauling with them.
When the end of the hawser is got on board, a tally board will be found attached to it bearing the following directions in English on one side and French on the other: "Make this hawser fast about 2 feet above the tail-block; see all clear and that the rope in the block runs free, and show signal to the shore." These instructions being obeyed the
. result will be as shown in Fig. 17.
55. Take particular care that there are no turns of the whip line around the hawser. To prevent this, take the end of the hawser up between the parts of the whip before making it fast.
When the hawser is made fast, the whip cast off from the hawser, and your signal seen by the life-saving crew, they will haul the hawser taut and by means of the whip will
haul off to your ship a breeches buoy d, Fig. 18, suspended from a traveler block c, or a life car from rings, running on the hawser.
Fig. 18 represents the apparatus rigged, with the breeches buoy hauled off to the ship.
If the breeches buoy be sent, let one man immediately get into it, thrusting his legs through the breeches; if the life car, remove the hatch, place as many persons into it as it will hold (four to six), and secure the hatch on the outside by the hatch bar and hook, signal as before, and the buoy or car will be hauled ashore. This will be repeated until all are landed. On the last trip of the life car the hatch must be secured by the inside hatch bar.
In many instances, two men can be landed in the breeches buoy at the same time by each putting a leg through a leg of the breeches and holding on to the lifts of the buoy.
Children, when brought ashore by the buoy, should be in in the arms of older persons or securely lashed to the buoy. Women and children should be landed first.
In signaling, as directed in the foregoing instructions, if in the daytime, let one man separate himself from the rest and swing his hat, a handkerchief, or his hand; if at night, the showing of a light and concealing it once or twice, will be understood; and like signals will be made from the shore.
Circumstances may arise, owing to the strength or set of the current, or the danger of the wreck breaking up immediately, when it would be impossible to send off the hawser. In such a case a breeches buoy or life car will be hauled off by the whip or sent off to you by the shot line and you will be hauled ashore through the surf.
57. If your vessel is stranded during the night and discovered by the patrolman, which you will know by his burning a brilliant red light, keep a sharp lookout for signs of the arrival of the life-saving crew abreast of your vessel.
From 1 to 4 hours may intervene between the burning of the light and their arrival, as the patrolman will have to return to his station, perhaps 3 or 4 miles distant, and the life-saving crew draw the apparatus or surf boat through the sand or over bad roads to where your vessel is stranded.
Lights on the beach will indicate their arrival, and the sound of cannon firing from the shore may be taken as evidence that a line has been fired across your vessel. Therefore, on hearing the cannon, make a strict search aloft, fore and aft, for the shot line, for it is almost certain to be there. Though the movements of the life-saving crew may not be perceptible to you, owing to the darkness, your ship will be a good mark for the men experienced in the use of the wreck gun, and the first shot seldom fails.
THE LIFE-SAVING SERVICE
58. The following signals, recommended by the late International Marine Conference for adoption by all institutions for saving life from wrecked vessels, have been adopted by the Life-Saving Service of the United States:
1. Upon the discovery of a wreck by night, the life-saving force will burn a red pyrotechnic light or a red rocket to signify: “You are seen; assistance will be given as soon as possible.”
2. A red flag waved on shore by day, or a red light, or red rocket, or red Roman candle displayed by night, will signify: "Haul away.”
3. A white flag waved on shore by day, or a white light slowly swung back and forth, or a white rocket or white Roman candle fired by night, will signify: “Slack away."
4. Two flags, a white and a red, waved at the same time on shore by day, or two lights, a white and a red, slowly swung at the same time, or a blue pyrotechnic light burned by night, will signify: “Do not attempt to land in your own boats; it is impossible.”
5. A man on shore beckoning by day, or two torches burning near together by night, will signify: “This is the best place to land."
6. Any of these signals may be answered from the vessel as follows: In the daytime, by waving a flag, a handkerchief, a hat, or even the hand; at night, by firing a rocket, a blue light, or a gun, or by showing a light over the ship's gunwale for a short time and then concealing it.