Rasmus Midgett

Rasmus S. Midgett (1851–1926) was a United States Life-Saving Service surfman in North Carolina who single-handedly rescued ten men from the sinking barkentine Priscilla and was thereafter awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal from the Secretary of the Treasury on October 18, 1899. Erasmus S. Midgett is listed in some records as Edward S. Midgett. . He was named for St.Elmo/ Erasmus, the patron saint of sailors. Rasmus went to grammar school at Southern Woods, now Waves, NC where he proved good at arithmetic and handwriting. Rasmus Midgett, one of a long line of North Carolina surfmen known as the Mighty Midgetts, was on patrol for the Gull Shoals Lifesaving Station on August 18, 1899. He left for the southward patrol at 3:00 am on his horse, Gilbert. Approximately three-fourths of a mile from the station, he saw items newly washed ashore, which indicated a shipwreck. After traveling two more miles and finding much more debris, he heard what sounded like sails frapping and then faint voices. He flashed his lantern over the ocean and saw something out over the high flood tide. A ship had keeled over approximately 25 feet from shore and the mast had fallen across the ship.

Personal details

Date of birth
Date of death
1926 at age of 75


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