Captain Charles Carland
Captain Charles Carland, holding the responsible position of keeper of the United States Life Saving Station at Milwaukee, Wis., is in this connection a practical illustration of the time-honored aphorism, "The right man in the right place."
The Captain was born in Sweden, July 11, 1863, a son of John Carland, who was a fisherman at Halmstad, Sweden, and here young Charles remained until he was thirteen years old, when he commenced the life of a sailor, shipping first on the barkentine Ludwick, on which he remained four months, leaving her at Helsingor, Denmark; then went on the brig Triepput for the balance of the season. In the following year he went to Liverpool, England, and from there shipped on the bark Martin, bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he left her for the Lulah, sailing to the Brazils, remaining on her some eighteen months; then sailed to St. John's, Newfoundland, and from there to London. At the latter port he shipped on the bark Star of Bengal, bound for Calcutta, and made three trips to India on her; next went on the C.W. Wolf, of Belfast, Ireland, destined for Bombay, making one trip and returning by way of Baltimore, thence again proceeding to London. Here he shipped on the steamer Romeno, of the Wilson line, which was run down off Newfoundland and was sunk inside of thirteen minutes, all on board being saved; on this vessel he served for some time. His next experience was in deep-sea fishing, in the North Sea, from Hull, England, a pursuit he followed some twenty-five months. He then shipped on a vessel bound for Spain, and after that voyage he came, in April, 1887, to this country, his first vessel being the Scotia from Buffalo, making two trips on her to Chicago. In April, 1890, he applied for and passed the necessary examination for appointment to the Life Saving Station at Milwaukee, under Capt. N.A. Peterson, and, with the exception of the year 1891, has been stationed there ever since.
Early in 1898, he was made active keeper, and after serving in that position six weeks, was appointed keeper by the United States Government, and was inducted into that office with full powers. Since that time he has made fourteen wreck reports. His crew consists of surfmen Frank Gerdis, Henry Sinnegan (who had the honor of being detailed as one of the exhibition crew at the Omaha Exposition), William Peterson, John Allie, Julius Meyers, Charles Johnson, Immel O. Peterson and Richard Wacksmith, their numbers conforming to the order in which they are named. They are a fine body of men, and all expert boatmen, several of them having also sailed before the mast.
The most important assistance rendered distressed vessels and mariners since Captain Carland assumed full command of the Milwaukee Station, was on April 4 to the schooner D.P. Dobbins, which they helped to get into port; the rescue of a man apparently drowned, by surfman Julius Meyers while on patrol; the schooner Alida, which sprang a leak; on July 24, the rescue of seven men from a capsized boat; to the schooner Butcher Boy, dismantled four miles southeast of Kenosha; on August 3, the crew pulled fifteen miles out into the lake north of the station, when there was a dangerous sea on, to the rescue of the scow Dan Hayes and a crew of six men, the scow being dismantled and helpless; August 17, to relieve the schooner Abbie, which had sprung a leak; later were the means of saving a skiff going out into the lake, with a man asleep on it, and a fisherman who was struggling amid the breakers in the South bay; on October 25, 1898, when the schooner Barbarian, of Chicago, was caught in a gale of sixty miles an hour, this crew came to her rescue and took seven men from off her; and November 20, of the same year, saved two fishermen from a watery grave.
It is almost unnecessary to add that the Milwaukee Life Saving Station is one of the most important on the lakes, and that no better all-round experienced and reliable man could have been found to fill the position of keeper than Captain Carland. He is a typical self-made man, a born sailor and of the right stuff, and since coming to the United States has become quite proficient in the English language. The Captain is a married man and has one son.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.