Black History Month: The story of the Pea Island life-saving sta - WSPA.com

Black History Month: The story of the Pea Island life-saving station

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MANTEO, N.C. - Our Black History Month celebration continues with a story from the Outer Banks.

Built in 1878, the Pea Island life-saving station became one of many that dotted the Outer Banks with a mission of land-based ocean rescues.
     
It was the precursor to today's Coast Guard.
     
Two years later, a freed slave by the name of Richard Etheridge took it over, becoming the 1st African-American station keeper in the life-saving service.
     
The opportunity afforded Etheridge sparked something that will live on in North Carolina history forever.

“So this was an opportunity, an experiment to say hey, if given a chance, given the proper training, we can perform just like anyone else,” said Frank Hester, Pea Island Cook House Museum.

Thursday at 6, we’ll have the full story of the nation's first all African-American rescue team.
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