On September 2, 2003, the United States Life-Saving Service lost one of the most passionate and informative interpreters.
Richard (Dick) Darcey was the interpreter for the Beach Apparatus Drill at the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station in Rodanthe, North Carolina.
Darcey was instrumental in taking over the drill from the National Park Service about 8 years ago,
The nine-man team, all dressed in Surfman regulation whites, and the Keeper, would perform the enactment of the drill every Thursday at 4 bells (2 P.M.) during the summer season.
The team also traveled to Buxton, North Carolina and Indian River Life Saving Station, Delaware, to amaze the crowds with the drill.
Acting as the interpreter, Dick Darcey explained the drill and the critical importance of efficiency in the rescues of those in peril at sea.
During the quiet time you could find Dick on his back porch making Turks Head bracelets. These bracelets were worn by mariners so that a boat hook could hang onto one and drag the person aboard a boat to safety.
Besides his passion for the Life Saving Service, Darcey was an award-winning sports photographer for the Washington Post Newspaper for 30 years.
Dick Darcy leaves behind 2 children and 6 grandchildren, and a host of friends and colleagues.
A non-profit organization has been set up to continue the legacy of the Surfmen of the United States Life Saving Service by enacting the life saving drills.
For Information Contact:
USLSS-Living History Association
c/o Mike Daugherty
P.O. Box 32
Rodanthe, N.C. 27968
Contributions can be made to:
Richard Darcey Memorial Fund
Attn: Jody or Lynn
RBC Centura Bank
P.O. Box 176
Buxton, N.C. 27920
This story appeared in the
November 2003 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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