In 1880, the Outer Banks Pea Island Lifesaving Station was the nation's only station entirely manned by African Americans. Led by Richard Etheridge, the men earned a reputation for skill and courage during Reconstruction, a time of prejudice and racial tension. An example of their daring work occurred on the night of October 11, 1896, when the E.S. NEWMAN, a three-mast schooner, was caught in heavy, hurricane created seas off the coast. Etheridge and his men fought through the dangerous storm currents and brought the ten men aboard to safety.