As you might imagine, people living on an island miles from the mainland have endured more than an average number of accidental drownings.
According to a newspaper account of July 26, 1885 Ocracoke native, Benjamin Joseph Garrish, Sr., "had a fit and fell overboard and was drowned, in about 18 inches of water, last week."
Benjamin and his wife Mary Jane already had five children. Less than two weeks after Benjamin's death Mary delivered their sixth child. He was named Benjamin Joseph Garrish, Jr.
Benjamin, Jr. served for many years in the U.S. Life Saving Service, often risking his life to save others from a watery grave. His son Monford (Monk) served in the US Coast Guard (the successor to the USLSS) during WWII in the South Pacific and at Ocracoke.
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an article about the Ocracoke Crab
Festival which was held each May from 1984 to 1989. You can read it