Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat CG-36500 is a historic lifeboat docked in Rock Harbor in Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. The 36-foot lifeboat is well-known for being the vessel used in the 1952 SS Pendleton rescue which was one of the most dramatic events in US Coast Guard history. On February 18, 1952, the lifeboat was put into action when the SS Pendleton tanker had been broken in half by a major storm off Chatham, Massachusetts. 4 brave Coast Guard members set out in CG-36500 to attempt to save the 33 crew members trapped within the sinking tanker’s stern section. The team rescued 32 men and returned them safely to shore.
The lifeboat was taken out of service in 1968 and was acquired by the National Park Service. It was eventually transferred to the Orleans Historical Society which was motivated to restore the lifeboat and preserve it for generations to come. The boat was even added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 27, 2005. In 2016, a major motion picture The Finest Hours was made to document the dramatic lifesaving that took place in 1952.
The CG 36500 Lifeboat is docked at the entrance to Rock Harbor in Orleans, Massachusetts during the summer. During the winter, the lifeboat is moved and stored indoors to avoid any damage.
- Built: 1946
- Original function: Lifeboat
- Architect(s): N/A
- Year added to NRHP: 2005
- NRHP number: 05000467
- Status: Viewable at Rock Harbor in Orleans during the summer. Stored on land during the winter.
- Admission cost: Free to look at. Visit the Orleans Historical Society Museum for more information about the lifeboat and why it is a historical treasure.
CG 36500 Lifeboat Location (Docked Location)
- Address: Bay View Drive
- Town: Orleans
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 41.800046 Lng -70.0087885
- Parking notes: There are over a hundred free parking spots located right near the lifeboat at Rock Harbor. The parking lot does get very busy during the summer.
- Parking directions: HERE
- Location directions: HERE