United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the coastal defense and maritime law enforcement branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's seven uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, multi-mission service unique among the U. S. military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the U. S. Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, can be transferred to the U. S. Department of the Navy by the U. S. President at any time, or by the U. S. Congress during times of war; this has happened twice: in 1917, during World War I, in 1941, during World War II. Created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue-Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States; as Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue-Marine, whose original purpose was collecting customs duties in the nation's seaports. By the 1860s, the service was known as the U.
S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue-Marine fell into disuse; the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury; as one of the country's five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. The Coast Guard has 40,992 men and women on active duty, 7,000 reservists, 31,000 auxiliarists, 8,577 full-time civilian employees, for a total workforce of 87,569; the Coast Guard maintains an extensive fleet of 243 coastal and ocean-going patrol ships, tenders and icebreakers called "cutters", 1650 smaller boats, as well as an extensive aviation division consisting of 201 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. While the U. S. Coast Guard is the smallest of the U. S. military service branches in terms of membership, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the world's 12th largest naval force; the Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are further subdivided into eleven statutory missions.
The three roles are: Maritime safety Maritime security Maritime stewardshipWith a decentralized organization and much responsibility placed on the most junior personnel, the Coast Guard is lauded for its quick responsiveness and adaptability in a broad range of emergencies. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, "the Coast Guard's most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, most of all, spirit." Wil Milam, a rescue swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, "In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself." The eleven statutory missions as defined by law are divided into homeland security missions and non-homeland security missions: Ice operations, including the International Ice Patrol Living marine resources Marine environmental protection Marine safety Aids to navigation Search and rescue Defense readiness Maritime law enforcement Migrant interdiction Ports and coastal security Drug interdiction See National Search and Rescue Committee See Joint Rescue Coordination CentersWhile the U.
S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue is not the oldest search and rescue organization in the world, it is one of the Coast Guard's best-known operations; the National Search and Rescue Plan designates the Coast Guard as the federal agency responsible for maritime SAR operations, the United States Air Force as the federal agency responsible for inland SAR. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, have responsibility for both military and civilian search and rescue; the two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators. Located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. Operated by the Coast Guard, the National Response Center is the sole U. S. Government point of contact for reporting all oil, radiological and etiological spills and discharges into the environment, anywhere in the United States and its territories.
In addition to gathering and distributing spill/incident information for Federal On Scene Coordinators and serving as the communications and operations center for the National Response Team, the NRC maintains agreements with a variety of federal entities to make additional notifications regarding incidents meeting established trigger criteria. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports. Details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; the Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution and safety incidents in the nation's ports. The National Maritime Center is the merchant mariner credentialing authority for the USCG under the auspices of the Department of Homeland Security. To ensure a safe and environmentally sound marine transportation system, the mission of the NMC is to issue credentials to qualified mariners in the United States maritime jurisdiction.
The five uniformed services that make up the U. S. Armed Forces are defined in Title 10 of the U. S. Code: The term "armed forces" means the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard; the Coast Guard is further defined by Title 14 of the United States Code: The Coast Guar
John Allen Midgett Jr.
John Allen Midgett Jr. was a senior enlisted member of first the United States Lifesaving Service, the United States Coast Guard. Midgett grew up on Cape Hatteras, on the outer banks of the North Carolina coast, like his father, other family members, he enlisted in the Lifesaving Service in 1898. Midgett remained in command of a Lifesaving Station when the United States Revenue Cutter Service, the United States Lighthouse Service merged with the Lifesaving Service to form the Coast Guard in 1915. On August 16, 1918, Midgett was the Keeper of the Chicamacomico Lifeboat Station when he led his power surfboat crew on the celebrated rescue of the 42 crew members of the British tanker Mirlo; the UK Board of Trade awarded Midgett a silver cup in 1918, he was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal six years later. In 1972 the Coast Guard named the USCGC Midgett after him. Midgett was injured in an automobile accident in late 1937 and died on February 9, 1938. According to the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography Midgett was friends with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, his funeral was attended by a number of Congressmen
United States Life-Saving Service
The United States Life-Saving Service was a United States government agency that grew out of private and local humanitarian efforts to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers. It began in 1848 and merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to form the United States Coast Guard in 1915; the concept of assistance to shipwrecked mariners from shore based stations began with volunteer lifesaving services, spearheaded by the Massachusetts Humane Society. It was recognized that only small boats stood a chance in assisting those close to the beach. A sailing ship trying to help near to the shore stood a good chance of running aground if there were heavy onshore winds; the Massachusetts Humane Society founded the first lifeboat station at Massachusetts. The stations were small shed-like structures, holding rescue equipment, to be used by volunteers in case of a wreck; the stations, were only near the approaches to busy ports and, large gaps of coastline remained without lifesaving equipment.
Formal federal government involvement in the life saving business began on August 14, 1848 with the signing of the Newell Act, named for its chief advocate, New Jersey Representative William A. Newell. Under this act, the United States Congress appropriated $10,000 to establish unmanned life saving stations along the New Jersey coast south of New York Harbor and to provide "surf boat, rockets and other necessary apparatus for the better preservation of life and property from shipwreck on the coast of New Jersey...." That same year the Massachusetts Humane Society received funds from Congress for life saving stations on the Massachusetts coastline. Between 1848 and 1854 other stations were loosely managed; the stations were administered by the United States Revenue Marine. They were run with volunteer crews, much like a volunteer fire department. In September 1854, a Category 4 hurricane, the Great Carolina Hurricane of 1854, swept through the East Coast of the United States, causing the deaths of many sailors.
This storm highlighted the poor condition of the equipment in the life saving stations, the poor training of the crews and the need for more stations. Additional funds were appropriated by Congress, including funds to employ a full-time keeper at each station and two superintendents. Still not recognized as a service, the system of stations languished until 1871 when Sumner Increase Kimball was appointed chief of the Treasury Department's Revenue Marine Division. One of his first acts was to send Captain John Faunce of the Revenue Marine Service on an inspection tour of the life saving stations. Captain Faunce's report noted that "apparatus was rusty for want of care and some of it ruined." Kimball convinced Congress to appropriate $200,000 to operate the stations and to allow the Secretary of the Treasury to employ full-time crews for the stations. Kimball instituted six-man boat crews at all stations, built new stations, drew up regulations with standards of performance for crew members. By 1874, stations were added along the coast of Maine, Cape Cod, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Port Aransas, Texas.
The next year, more stations were added to serve the Great Lakes and the Houses of Refuge in Florida. In 1878, the network of life saving stations were formally organized as a separate agency of the United States Department of the Treasury, called the Live-Saving Service; the stations of the Service fell into three categories: lifesaving and houses of refuge. Lifesaving stations were manned by full-time crews during the period. On the East Coast, this was from April to November, was called the "active season." By 1900, the active season was year-round. Most stations were in isolated areas and crewmen had to perform open beach launchings; that is, they were required to launch their boats from the beach into the surf. The Regulations of Life-Saving Service of 1899, Article VI, "Actions at Wrecks," Section 252, remained in force after creation of the Coast Guard in 1915, Section 252 was copied word for word into the new Instructions for United States Coast Guard Stations, 1934 edition; that section gave rise to the rescue crew's unofficial motto, "You have to go out, but you don't have to come back."Before 1900, there were few recreational boaters and most assistance cases came from ships engaged in commerce.
Nearly all lifeboat stations were located near port cities. Here, deep water, combined with piers and other waterfront structures, allowed launching heavy lifeboats directly into the water by marine railways on inclined ramps. In general, lifeboat stations were on the Great Lakes, but some lifesaving stations were in the more isolated areas of the lakes; the active season on the Great Lakes stretched from April to December. An exception was the nation's first rescue center on the inland waterways, the United States Life Saving Station#10, established in 1881 at the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville, Kentucky, on the Ohio River. Houses of refuge made up the third category of Life Saving Service units; these stations were on the coasts of South Carolina and Florida. A paid keeper and a small boat were assigned to each house, but the organization did not include active manning and rescue attempts, it was felt that along this stretch of coastline, shipwrecked sailors would not die of exposure to the cold in the winter as in the north.
Therefore, only shelters would be needed. On January 28, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Act to Create the Coast Guard," merging the Life-Saving Service with the Revenue Cutter Service to create the United States Coast Guard. By the time the act was signed there was a network of more than 270 stations cov
Commandant of the Coast Guard
The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard is the service chief and highest-ranking member of the United States Coast Guard. The Commandant is an admiral, appointed for a four-year term by the President of the United States upon confirmation by the United States Senate; the Commandant is assisted by a vice commandant, an admiral, two Area Commanders and two Deputy Commandants, all of whom are vice admirals. Though the United States Coast Guard is one of the five military branches of the United States, unlike the other service chiefs, the Commandant of the Coast Guard is not a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Commandant is, entitled to the same supplemental pay as the Joint Chiefs, per 37 U. S. C. § 414, is accorded privilege of the floor under Senate Rule XXIII as a de facto JCS member during Presidential addresses. The Commandant maintains operational command over the Coast Guard, unlike the chiefs of the other services, who serve only administrative roles. Thus, while the operational chain of command for the other services goes from the President through the Secretary of Defense to the combatant commanders of the unified combatant commands and control of the Coast Guard goes from the President through the Secretary of Homeland Security through to the Commandant.
Prior to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, the United States Coast Guard operated under and the Commandant reported to the Secretary of Transportation from 1966 to 2003, the Secretary of the Treasury from 1790 until 1966. The title of Commandant dates to a 1923 act that distributed the commissioned line and engineer officers of the U. S. Coast Guard in grades. Before 1923, the rank and title of the head of the Coast Guard was "captain-commandant." The rank "captain-commandant" originated in the Revenue Cutter Service in 1908. The original holder of that rank was the Chief of the Revenue Cutter Service; the Coast Guard traces the lineage of Commandants back to Captain Leonard G. Shepard, chief of the Revenue Marine Bureau though he never received the title of Captain-Commandant; the Captain-Commandant position was created in 1908 when Captain Worth G. Ross was the first to hold the position. Although he was retired, Ross's predecessor, Captain Charles F. Shoemaker, was elevated to the rank of Captain-Commandant.
Shoemaker's predecessor, Captain Shepard, had died and was not elevated to the rank. Chiefs exercised centralized control over the Revenue Marine Bureau. Captain Alexander V. Fraser, USRM, 1843–1848 Captain Richard Evans, USRM, 1848–1849In 1849 the Revenue Marine Bureau was dissolved, the Revenue Marine fell under the control the Commissioner of Customs until the Revenue Marine Bureau was again established in 1869. N. Broughton Devereux, 1869–1871 Sumner I. Kimball, 1871–1878 Ezra Clark, 1878–1885 Peter Bonnett, 1885–1889 There have been 26 Commandants of the Coast Guard since the office of Chief of the Revenue Marine Bureau was transferred to a military billet; this includes the current Commandant. Vice Commandant of the United States Coast Guard Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Footnotes Citations References cited Commandant's official website
Surfing is a surface water sport in which the wave rider, referred to as a surfer, rides on the forward or deep face of a moving wave, which carries the surfer towards the shore. Waves suitable for surfing are found in the ocean, but can be found in lakes or rivers in the form of a standing wave or tidal bore. However, surfers can utilize artificial waves such as those from boat wakes and the waves created in artificial wave pools; the term surfing refers to the act of riding a wave, regardless of whether the wave is ridden with a board or without a board, regardless of the stance used. The native peoples of the Pacific, for instance, surfed waves on alaia and other such craft, did so on their belly and knees; the modern-day definition of surfing, most refers to a surfer riding a wave standing up on a surfboard. Another prominent form of surfing is body boarding, when a surfer rides a wave on a bodyboard, either lying on their belly, drop knee, or sometimes standing up on a body board. Other types of surfing include knee boarding, surf matting, using foils.
Body surfing, where the wave is surfed without a board, using the surfer's own body to catch and ride the wave, is common and is considered by some to be the purest form of surfing. Three major subdivisions within stand-up surfing are stand-up paddling, long boarding and short boarding with several major differences including the board design and length, the riding style, the kind of wave, ridden. In tow-in surfing, a motorized water vehicle, such as a personal watercraft, tows the surfer into the wave front, helping the surfer match a large wave's speed, a higher speed than a self-propelled surfer can produce. Surfing-related sports such as paddle boarding and sea kayaking do not require waves, other derivative sports such as kite surfing and windsurfing rely on wind for power, yet all of these platforms may be used to ride waves. With the use of V-drive boats, Wakesurfing, in which one surfs on the wake of a boat, has emerged; the Guinness Book of World Records recognized a 78 foot wave ride by Garrett McNamara at Nazaré, Portugal as the largest wave surfed.
For hundreds of years, surfing was a central part of ancient Polynesian culture. Surfing may have first been observed by British explorers at Tahiti in 1767. Samuel Wallis and the crew members of HMS Dolphin who were the first Britons to visit the island in June of that year. Another candidate is the botanist Joseph Banks being part of the first voyage of James Cook on HMS Endeavour, who arrived on Tahiti on 10 April 1769. Lieutenant James King was the first person to write about the art of surfing on Hawaii when he was completing the journals of Captain James Cook upon Cook's death in 1779; when Mark Twain visited Hawaii in 1866 he wrote, In one place we came upon a large company of naked natives, of both sexes and all ages, amusing themselves with the national pastime of surf-bathing. References to surf riding on planks and single canoe hulls are verified for pre-contact Samoa, where surfing was called fa'ase'e or se'egalu, Tonga, far pre-dating the practice of surfing by Hawaiians and eastern Polynesians by over a thousand years.
In July 1885, three teenage Hawaiian princes took a break from their boarding school, St. Mathew’s Hall in San Mateo, came to cool off in Santa Cruz, California. There, David Kawānanakoa, Edward Keliʻiahonui and Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole surfed the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on custom-shaped redwood boards, according to surf historians Kim Stoner and Geoff Dunn. George Freeth is credited as being the "Father of Modern Surfing", he is thought to have been the first modern surfer. In 1907, the eclectic interests of the land baron Henry E. Huntington brought the ancient art of surfing to the California coast. While on vacation, Huntington had seen Hawaiian boys surfing the island waves. Looking for a way to entice visitors to the area of Redondo Beach, where he had invested in real estate, he hired a young Hawaiian to ride surfboards. George Freeth decided to revive the art of surfing, but had little success with the huge 16-foot hardwood boards that were popular at that time; when he cut them in half to make them more manageable, he created the original "Long board", which made him the talk of the islands.
To the delight of visitors, Freeth exhibited his surfing skills twice a day in front of the Hotel Redondo. Another native Hawaiian, Duke Kahanamoku, spread surfing to both the U. S. and Australia, riding the waves after displaying the swimming prowess that won him Olympic gold medals in 1912 and 1920. In 1975, professional contests started; that year Margo Oberg became the first female professional surfer. Swell is generated when the wind blows over a large area of open water, called the wind's fetch; the size of a swell is determined by the strength of the wind and the length of its fetch and duration. Because of this, surf tends to be larger and more prevalent on coastlines exposed to large expanses of ocean traversed by intense low pressure systems. Local wind conditions affect wave quality since the surface of a wave can become choppy in blustery conditions. Ideal conditions include a light to moderate "offshore" wind, because it blows into the front of the wave, making it a "barrel" or "tube" wave.
Waves are Left Right Handed depending upon the breaking formation of the wave. Waves are recognized by the surfaces over which they break. For example, there are Reef breaks and Point breaks; the most important influence on
PS General Slocum
The PS General Slocum was a sidewheel passenger steamboat built in Brooklyn, New York, in 1891. During her service history, she was involved in a number of mishaps, including multiple groundings and collisions. On June 15, 1904, General Slocum sank in the East River of New York City. At the time of the accident, she was on a chartered run carrying members of St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church to a church picnic. An estimated 1,021 of the 1,342 people on board died; the General Slocum disaster was the New York area's worst disaster in terms of loss of life until the September 11, 2001 attacks. It is the worst maritime disaster in the city's history, the second worst maritime disaster on United States waterways; the events surrounding the General Slocum fire have been explored in a number of books and movies. General Slocum was built by Divine Burtis, Jr. a Brooklyn boatbuilder, awarded the contract on February 15, 1891. Her keel was 235 feet long and the hull was 37.5 feet wide constructed of white oak and yellow pine.
General Slocum measured 1,284 tons gross, had a hull depth of 12.3 feet. General Slocum was constructed with three decks, three watertight compartments, 250 electric lights. General Slocum was powered by a single-cylinder, surface-condensing vertical-beam steam engine with a 53-inch bore and 12-foot stroke, built by W. & A. Fletcher Company of Hoboken, New Jersey. Steam was supplied by two boilers at a working pressure of 52 psi. General Slocum was a sidewheel boat; each wheel was 31 feet in diameter. Her maximum speed was about 16 knots; the ship was manned by a crew of 22, including Captain William H. Van Schaick and two pilots. General Slocum was named for New York Congressman Henry Warner Slocum, she operated in the New York City area as an excursion steamer for the next 13 years under the same ownership. General Slocum experienced a series of mishaps following her launch in 1891. Four months after her launching, she ran aground off Rockaway. Tugboats had to be used to pull her free. A number of incidents occurred during 1894.
On July 29, while returning from Rockaway with about 4,700 passengers, General Slocum struck a sandbar with enough force that her electrical generator went out. The next month, General Slocum ran aground off Coney Island during a storm. During this grounding, the passengers had to be transferred to another ship. In September 1894, General Slocum collided with the tug R. T. Sayre in the East River, with General Slocum sustaining substantial damage to her steering. In July 1898, another collision occurred. On August 17, 1901, while carrying what was described as 900 intoxicated anarchists from Paterson, New Jersey, some of the passengers started a riot on board and tried to take control of the vessel; the crew kept control of the ship. The captain docked the ship at the police pier, 17 men were taken into custody by the police. In June 1902, General Slocum ran aground with 400 passengers aboard. With the vessel unable to be freed, the passengers had to camp out overnight while the ship remained stuck.
General Slocum worked as a passenger ship. On Wednesday, June 15, 1904, the ship had been chartered for $350 by St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Little Germany district of Manhattan; this was an annual rite for the group, which had made the trip for 17 consecutive years, a period when German settlers moved out of Little Germany for the Upper East and West Sides. Over 1,400 passengers women and children, boarded General Slocum, to sail up the East River and eastward across the Long Island Sound to Locust Grove, a picnic site in Eatons Neck, Long Island; the ship got underway at 9:30 a.m. As it was passing East 90th Street, a fire started in the Lamp Room in the forward section caused by a discarded cigarette or match, it was fueled by the straw, oily rags, lamp oil strewn around the room. The first notice of a fire was at 10 a.m.. Captain Van Schaick was not notified until 10 minutes after the fire was discovered. A 12-year-old boy was not believed. Although the captain was responsible for the safety of passengers, the owners had made no effort to maintain or replace the ship's safety equipment.
The fire hoses had been allowed to rot, fell apart when the crew tried to put out the fire. The crew had never practiced a fire drill, the lifeboats were tied up and inaccessible. Survivors fell apart in their hands. Desperate mothers placed life jackets on their children and tossed them into the water, only to watch in horror as their children sank instead of floating. Most of those on board were children who, like most Americans of the time, could not swim, it has been suggested that the manager of the life preserver manufacturer placed iron bars inside the cork preservers to meet minimum weight requirements at the time. Many of the life preservers had been filled with cheap and less effective granulated cork and brought up to proper weight by the inclusion of the iron weights. Canvas covers, rotted with age and scattered the powdered cork. Managers of the company were indicted but not convicted; the life preservers had been manufactured in 1891 and had hung
Joshua James (lifesaver)
Joshua James was an American sea captain and a U. S. Lifesaving Station keeper, he was a famous and celebrated commander of civilian life-saving crews in the 19th century, credited with saving over 200 lives from the age of about 15 when he first associated himself with the Massachusetts Humane Society until his death at the age of 75 while on duty with the United States Life-Saving Service. During his lifetime he was honored with the highest medals of the Humane Society and the United States, his father, brothers and son were lifesavers in their own right. James was a recipient of the Gold Lifesaving Medal, awarded by the United States Government, along with four medals, a Certificate, numerous monetary awards from the Massachusetts Humane Society. Joshua James was born on November 1826, in Hull, Massachusetts, he was the seventh of ten children to Esther Dill, who of Hull and William James who had emigrated from Dokkum, the Netherlands as a young man. Little is known of William James' early life except that he was a soldier in the Dutch Army before running away and becoming a sailor.
In time he made his way to America, landing in Boston, where he earned a living as a sailor on numerous small schooners that provided paving stones to the city. He made his home in Hull and via frugality became the owner of his own schooner and engaged in the paving-stone business for himself. Esther Dill was the daughter of Nathaniel and Esther Dill, of Hull, both descended from the early English colonists, her great-grandfather, John Dill, who "for a number of years," was the Skipper of the Boat which supplied the Market at Oliver's Dock with fresh fish." Three of Esther's uncles, Daniel and Lemeul, a "famous drummer," served in the Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Another uncle, appears to have died in the Maine Wilderness while driving with General Arnold against Quebec. Esther's father, Nathaniel mustered as a fifer, spent most of his Revolutionary War service at Boston Harbor forts, but appears to have served in the Continental Army early in the War.
One of Esther's brothers, lost his life aboard the 32-gun wooden frigate USS Boston during its engagement and capture of the 22-gun French corvette Berceau in 1800 at the end of the Quasi-War with France, while another, died on a military expedition to Canada during the War of 1812. Esther Dill was the only girl in a family of seven children and was sixteen at the time of her marriage to William James in 1808. Not long after Joshua's birth, about 1829, William James purchased the Dill home by the sea along present-day James Avenue in Hull, he was a Lutheran, it was his custom to read from the Bible he brought with him from the Netherlands. When his children were old enough they were required to read every morning in English from the King James version of the Bible. During Joshua's childhood, there were occasional Methodist itinerant preachers who visited Hull as they had for decades. There was no church building save a one-room schoolhouse prior to construction of a Town Hall in 1848, he was described by his elder sister Catherine that he had a thoughtfulness and reserve that distinguished him from other children.
He was the favorite of his father, idolized by his sisters. Joshua was a great reader from childhood on, preferring historical and scientific books, notably astronomy, his preference for practical literature is most due in part to his parents, whose strict religious views guided the children's choice of reading. Esther Dill prohibited the reading of novels and fiction of all kinds, forbade the neighbors lending her children novels. On one occasion she destroyed a beautiful and expensive copy of The Children of the Abbey that she found in the hands of one of her daughters. On April 3, 1837, at the age of 10, Joshua witnessed a pivotal event in his life. Mrs. Ester James was returning from a visit to Boston in the Hepzibah, a paving-stone hauling vessel owned by her son Rainier James; as they were passing through the treacherous Hull Gut, a sudden squall threw the vessel on her beam. This event was no doubt influential in shaping Joshua's life, his older sister by five years, took over the raising the family after the death of their mother.
At a early age Joshua began to go to sea with his father and his elder brothers and Samuel. There his fondness for astronomy stood him in good stead, he soon became an expert navigator, his father in years was fond of relating incidents illustrative of Joshua's good seamanship and the confidence reposed in him by other sailors. William James continued in the paving-stone trade between Hull and Boston until cobblestones were replaced by more modern paving materials. At one time he had a large contract for filling in the west end of Boston, owned a fleet of twelve vessels of from 50 to 125 tons burden, it was his practice to give each of his sons on reaching the majority age of 25 a complete outfit for the business, including a new schooner. Joshua, with his deep love of the sea and his early training on his father's and brothers' vessels, was a natural seaman, with such an outfit provided by his father, entered business for himself and freight-carrying. Captain Joshua James, as he now came to be called, continued in his chosen profession until his appointment as keeper of the Point Allerton Life-Saving Station in 1