Purpose

The events of this story have not yet outlived their relevance; this record must continue to be shared. Using holistic analysis, we aim to present material that honors all perspectives in a way that anyone can access and understand.

In the individual interiors, we present the views of each person involved so that we can feel for ourselves, and glimpse their unique experience of what happened.

The facts of the individual exteriors matter, so this place is also dedicated to sharing the details of those events and their aftermath.

Even the Coast Guard found that systemic failures contributed to the night’s outcomes. We must use the group exterior perspective to examine possible organizational causes, lessons, and future changes.

The group interior shows us about community and culture: leading up to this mishap, in learning, and in healing.

While the content and the human impacts detailed here may be difficult to experience, they are nonetheless necessary to truly appreciate and learn from the tragic events. Much has already been documented and published on this matter and this museum serves as an aggregate of the resources already available. The material here is presented with the deepest sensitivity towards all parties.

In previous disasters, telling the story and gathering to remember, learn from, and process the events has been incredibly healing. In the United States, an annual memorial and book commemorate the 1961 loss of the 52′ U.S. Coast Guard motor lifeboat TRIUMPH on the Columbia River Bar. The memorial alone has connected shipmates and kindled healing dialogues.

In the United Kingdom, similar literature and documentation exists regarding the 1981 loss of the 47′ Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat SOLOMON BROWNE. By taking these accounts out of the dark, we honor the sacrifices of those involved and work towards a safer future.

Lastly, the information contained on this site is as factually based as possible; however, some discrepancies may be found between sources and testimonies. And while much of the content comes directly from the U.S. Coast Guard, this is not an official U.S. Government website, so any opinions expressed belong solely to the site’s contributors. All material was obtained or accepted in good faith; if there has been an accidental infringement of copyright, the material will be removed immediately or re-credited. Please feel free to contact the curator here.

U.S. Coast Guard photos