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Life Saving Station #10 (LSS #10)

Life Saving Station #10 (LSS #10) is a unique vessel in Coast Guard history. It is the only remaining inland Coast Guard station in the U.S. and remnant of the United States Life Saving Service.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of eight National Historic Landmarks in Louisville, Ky.

Renamed as the Andrew Broaddus in the 1960s, LSS #10 is now the wharfboat for the Belle of Louisville.

Louisville Life discovers the stories behind the vessel's crews, their missions, and what the future holds for this river gem.

Interviewed for this story are two members of LSS #10's History Committee - Chuck Parrish and Rick Bell, and CEO of Belle of Louisville Linda Harris.

Photographs seen here in the story from LSS #10's archives as well as friends and families of its crews.

In 1881, Life Saving Station #10 was placed in service at the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, the most dangerous place on the entire Ohio River. Skilled rivermen, who had previously worked the Falls as volunteers, became personnel of the Service.

In addition to providing aid and rescue to river travelers, LSS #10 also served notably during World War II, when Coast Guard Reservists ran patrols from the Station to guard against possible acts of German saboteurs.

Earlier, Station personnel assisted in the enforcement of Prohibition by transporting federal agents to remote islands in the Ohio River to search for illicit alcohol operations.

From 1881 to 1972, the Life Saving Service (and later the Coast Guard) patrolled the Falls area, rescuing rivermen and passengers, saving stranded boats and cargo, recovering drowning victims, and performing heroic action during Ohio River floods.

Station records reveal that between 1881 and 1915, 7000 lives and property worth $6 million were saved by crews of LSS #10.

Established in 1848, the United States Life Saving Service built several stations for the aid and rescue of shipwrecked mariners. The first stations were located on the Atlantic coast and were manned by volunteers.

By the 1870s additional stations had been built along America’s coastline and on the Great Lakes, and in 1878 the U.S. Congress authorized the employment of professional station crews.

In 1915, the Life Saving Service and the Revenue Cutter Service, both part of the Department of Treasury, combined to form the United States Coast Guard.

For more Louisville maritime history, check out our story on the U.S. Marine Hospital in the Portland neighborhood.

Historical information provided by Belle of Louisville and Chuck Parrish

Shortly after the initial airing of this segment, a three-man crew on the Belle of Louisville rescued a woman from the Ohio River in the middle of the night.

Belle officials have said that had it not been for the quick response and training of its crew, the woman would not have survived - evidence that legacy of Life Saving Station #10 and the U.S. Life Saving Service is still relevant today.

Program 324
Louisville Life strolls through Louisville’s vast green spaces, learns the heroic history of the structure that now serves as the Belle of Louisville’s ticket office and much more. (#324)