About Station Shark River

Station Shark River History

U.S. Coast Guard Station Shark River
125 Washington Ave, Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ 07717

(732) 775-5029
40°11'18"N   74°0'48"W

History of Coast Guard Station Shark River  

Station Shark River
Avon BY The Sea, NJ (June 3) -- Coast Guard Station Shark River, N.J. USCG photo by THOMAS, BLAIR PA2
U.S. Coast Guard Station Shark River, which covers a 25-mile stretch along the shore in Monmouth County, is 7 miles north of the Station Manasquan, and 18 miles south of the Station Sandy Hook. 

The Shark River station was first built in 1871, rebuilt in 1872 and relocated in 1885 to a site "near the mouth of Shark River." Moreover, the station was CXXX) in 1892 according to the Annual Report. The Work Relief and Public Works Appropriation Act of 1938 provided funds for "combination station dwelling, boathouse, launch-way and flag tower," boats and equipment, and bulk-heading, dredging and fill.

Early keepers were William A. Harvey Can "experienced surfman" appointed at the age of 47 on November 22, 1872, he served until his death on May 3, 1875), Job Edwards (an "experienced surfman," he was appointed at the age of 49 on May 20, 1875, and served until his resignation effective February, 1878-the payroll records indicate that he worked until March 5, 1878), Joseph Newman (a surfman "with 34 years’ experience" appointed at the age of 49 on February 18, 1878, he served until August 27, 1879), John Kittel (August 27, 1879, until being discharged November 15, 1883), John C. Patterson (November 15, 1883, until he resigned January 13, 1886), John Redmond (January 19, 1886, until his resignation on March 31, 1889), John H. Pearce (July 9, 1889, until his resignation on December 7, 1905), David L. Yarnell (November 24, 1905, until he retired due to "having reached 64 years of age or more" on March 24, 1915), Charles W. Chasey (acting, never appointed-station responded improperly to an incident in which a life was lost in a motor boat accident and, as result, "acting keeper was disrated"), David B. Bowen (reassigned December 22, 1915 from Toms River station and served until December, 1916, when he was reassigned to the Office of the District Superintendent of the Fifth District), and Lambert H. Parker (reassigned December 15, 1916, from Bayhead station, he served until his retirement on July 25, 1918).

Next came Lewis E. Mitchell (reassigned from Barnegat station on August 13,1918, and reassigned to Island Beach station on May 1, 1920), Joel P. Hulse (reassigned from the Island Beach station on May 1, 1920, he served until his retirement on November 30, 1922), and Frederick C. Bailey (reassigned from the Toms River station on July 10, 1925, he served here until his reassignment to Loveladies Island station on December 3, 1931). The last known keeper before the outbreak of World War II was Chief Petty Officer M. M. Hymer, who was reassigned from the Spring Lake station in 1932.

In July 1967, the original station, over 118 years old, was replaced with a new brick station. While the old station was located on the ocean, the new station is located on the Shark River, 300 yards inside the mouth of Shark River Inlet. On 1 March 1988 the station was closed due to budgetary concerns but it was reopened only a little more than half a year later. 8 May 1989 marked the reestablishment of a fully manned station at Shark River.


July 1986: OPSAIL 86. BMC Shelton assisted Group Sandy Hook in any capacity assigned. Acted as sector coordinator for emergency SAR after fireworks. During parade of tall ships, was boat coxswain of RHI.

December 1986: Whale stranding, Deal Beach. A 65—foot whale stranded on the beach. Station personnel assisted in Security for two days while arrangements were made for removal.

January 1987: Possible stolen boat, Back Bay Shark River - Report of 2 minors having stolen a boat. When police arrived on scene, the minors jumped from the boat into the water thinking they could swim in. Due to cold weather, Station RHI recovered the 2 minors and turned them over to the Neptune Police Department.

January 1987: T/B Harbor Star with 70-foot Crane Barge which was taking on water, Offshore Long Branch Shark River DC party boarded barge with gear and kept it afloat. Brought into Shark River Inlet, successfully patched and de—watered the barge.

May 1987: Diving accident, Offshore Shark River - M/V Venture. Brought up a diver. Diver deceased. Rescue Crew-member utilized CPR procedure until evacuation by Coast guard helicopter.

June 1987; Diving Accident, Offshore Shark River — Martini—class diving boat. Recovered diver, Diver deceased. Rescue Crew— member utilized CPR procedure but with unsuccessful results.

June l987; LONG BRANCH PIER FIRE Large amusement pier caught on fire. Units from Shark River (first on scene) with Station 0—in— C aboard, directed the waterborne fire-fighting efforts as OSC. USCGC CAPE HORN, 2 - 41’ UTB’s from Station Sandy Hook, 2-units from Manasquan Inlet and the US Navy Tug Bugaloosa from Naval Weapons Station Earle responded. This was a major fire—fighting effort involving many fire departments.

July 1987: Car in water, Shark River Inlet. Two persons on board. Vehicle stuck in gear backed off the road and into the water. Two people got out of the car and were recovered by the Station RHI.

Severe storm of 27-29 July 87. The P/V Moonraker and Five Seas lost. Unit spent 3 days searching for survivors.

October 1987: Whale Stranding, Avon beach — Station RHI arrived on scene. Whale still alive, caught on rock jetty, boat crew members were able to get 13 ft whale clear of jetty and alongside RHI. RHI crew maneuvered the whale near the beach where crew members and police and members from the Mammal Stranding Center were standing by. A veterinarian was able to determine that whale was indeed dying. All attempts to revive where fruitless. Subsequent autopsy revealed that whale had ingested a plastic bag.

October 1987: Fishing boats adrift in Manasquan Inlet, Five fishing vessels from the fleet in Manasquan broke loose from their moorings. Manasquan station was unable to control all the vessels, which were all nested together. Shark River units got underway on their own to assist. 4 CG vessels were able to maneuver all vessels safely out the inlet. Once clear of the jetties, the masters or owners where transported to their respective vessels where they were able to get underway on their own and return to their moorings. Without the efforts of the stations involved, substantia1 damage to or loss of the fishing fleet would have resulted.

November 1987: Wharfside Restaurant fire in Manasquan Inlet. Restaurant behind Station Manasquan Inlet caught fire. Units from Manasquan and Shark River fought fire from the water behind the restaurant. These units were the first to respond and were partially responsible for preventing the fire from spreading to the residential section of town and for saving other businesses near the Restaurant.

Station History File, CG Historian’s Office
Dennis L. Noble & Michael S. Raynes. “Register of the Stations and Keepers of the U.S. Life-Saving Service.” Unpublished manuscript, compiled circa 1977, CG Historian’s Office collection.
Ralph Shanks, Wick York & Lisa Woo Shanks. The U.S. Life-Saving Service: Heroes, Rescues and Architecture of the Early Coast Guard. Petaluma, CA: CostaƱo Books, 1996.
U.S. Treasury Department: Coast Guard. Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers and Cadets and Ships and Stations of the United States Coast Guard, July 1, 1941. Washington, DC: USGPO, 1941.