Rasmus Midgett, a member of the Gull Shore Life Saving Station, was patrolling the beach at nine o'clock on the night of August 18, 1899, when he heard voices calling for help. The barkentine PRISCILLA, which had sailed from Baltimore on August 12, encountered a hurricane near North Carolina. Heavy waves washed the captain's wife, his son, and two crewmen overboard. The hull broke in two, and ten men were clinging to it in pounding waves twenty-five feet from shore. Midgett was three miles from his station--too far to go for help. He went to their assistance and single-handedly rescued all ten men. He was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor for his actions. The medal is the highest award for lifesaving available from the United States government.