To visit the Cape Hatteras Lifeboat Station, take NC Hwy 12 south from Kitty Hawk to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Then travel approximately 55 miles south and the entrance to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be on your left. Make a left as you would if you were going to the lighthouse, then continue to travel down the road passing the two turns to the lighthouse. The road continues to wind around and you will notice a sign for an old British Cemetery located on the right side of the road. Continue traveling past the cemetery and the lifeboat station will be on your right. Be sure to take a minute to stop in at the cemetery where the graves of two British Seamen are marked.
The United States Life-Saving Service established a life-saving station just one mile south of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse near Cape Point in 1882. Interestingly enough, the style of the station building constructed was an 1882-Type station. While the nearby Cape Hatteras lighthouse guided mariners away from Diamond Shoals, the surfmen assigned to the life-saving station were to be ready to assist mariners in the event that they became shipwrecked off shore.
The skills of the surfmen assigned to the station were tested on numerous occasions. Ephraim Williams, Brewster, and Anna May are among the more well known rescues conducted by the crew of this station.
The 1882-Type station building served until a new lifeboat station, constructed further to the west of the 1882 location, replaced it in 1939-40. No longer needed, the Coast Guard demolished the 1882-Type station in 1948 and a Loran station was constructed in its place.
Over the years, use of the station by the Coast Guard was phased out. Many of the smaller out buildings were torn down, along with a lookout tower and the wreck pole. In 1985 the National Park Service (NPS) took over the station buildings from the Coast Guard.
Today, only the buildings from the 1939-40 lifeboat station remain and are still used by the NPS. The buildings are not currently open to the public and signs ask that visitors do not enter the property.