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Cape Cod Five Bank

Orleans Historical Society
and Museum


Gold Medal Boat

Please mail your support payable to:
Orleans Historical Society
P. O. Box 353
Orleans, MA 02653

Or use our secure PayPal CG36500 donation option below:

The Finest Hours is an upcoming American disaster drama film directed by Craig Gillespie and written by Eric Johnson and Paul Tamasy, based on the 2009 novel of same name by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias. The film is about a true story of the Pendleton rescue mission attempt by Coast Guard ships. A storm hit and split asunder two oil tankers in 1952. The film is scheduled to be released January, 2016.

USCG36500 Gold Medal Boat

Restored, owned and operated by the Orleans Historical Society, the original CG36500 is a Gold Medal boat made famous by its crew of four in the February 18th, 1952 rescue of 32 survivors of the ill-fated tanker Pendleton, during a tremendous 70 knot northeasterly storm. The four Coasties took 36500 out in this wild storm in what seemed an impossible mission. They returned to the Chatham Station with 32 rescued crewmen. All four Coast Guard crewmen received the Gold Life Saving Medal for getting to the broken tanker under almost impossible conditions and heroically rescuing the 32 crewmen from the Pendleton.

The CG36500 is nothing short of a floating museum. Built in 1946, she performed admirably during her years of service at the Chatham, Massachusetts Lifeboat Station. Visit the Orleans Historical Society Museum to view memorabilia and read the story of an incredible night on the high seas off Chatham back in 1952.


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Motor Lifeboat CG36500 was built in 1946 at Curtis Bay, Maryland Coast Guard Yard, as all 36 footer's were, and stationed at the Chatham, Massachusetts Coast Guard Lifeboat Station. Like most 36's, it had an active and glorious career with many rescues. It was taken out of service in 1968 after being re-engined from a Sterling gas engine to diesel. It was replaced by the new and improved 44 foot twin diesel, all steel Motor Life Boat. It, like the other 36's, had outlived its usefulness. There isn't much fanfare when this occurs, even though to many Coasties, it is a sad day. Most were destroyed, but some got saved for display at museums and historical societies.

Decommissioned in 1968, the boat was donated to the Cape Cod National Seashore for a display at their Coast Guard exhibit in Eastham. This move was never completed because of a shortage of funds for restoration. CG36500 was left to deteriorate until Bill Quinn and the Orleans Historical Society intervened, acquired ownership, and executed a comprehensive restoration.The vessel was eventually restored by OHS volunteers to her present mission; a floating museum dedicated to the memory of the Life Savers of Cape Cod. The Lifeboat now once again travels the waters on Cape Cod and beyond. To view the CG36500 at a current location click here > >

Thank you to the following for their continuing support of the CG36500

Orleans Historical SocietyTown of Orleans Nauset Marine Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank American Legion