Coast Guard Station Wilmette Harbor History

Coast Guard Station Wilmette was opened on June 8, 1931. This station replaced the old Evanston Station that had grown out of lifeboats operated by students of Northwestern University in the 1870s. The property was returned to the university. Wilmette Lifeboat Station, better known as Wilmette Harbor Station fell under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Division of the Northern Area District after the reorganization of 1935.

On the night of October 28, 1951, between 1:00 and 2:00 A.M., radio contact was lost with CG30315, which was manned by BM3 Robert Sawyer and EN1 Max Wage. The vessel was out on the lake searching for a vessel with three duck hunters that was reported as missing. The vessel was found a half-mile off the Waukegan Harbor entrance. One of the hunters' bodies was recovered, the others were lost. CG30315 was never found. Station Wilmette Harbor personnel also participated in the search for United Airlines 380 that had crashed into Lake Michigan on August 16, 1965. All 24 passengers and eight crew members of the plane from LaGuardia headed for O'Hare Airport were dead.