The International Code of Signals is a system of signals that mariners use to communicate messages between vessels, typically regarding safety and navigation. The surfmen of the United States Life-Saving Service likely used the code on a regular basis. The first International Code of Signals was drafted in 1855 and consisted of 18 different flags that could communicate up to 70,000 different messages. The code was particularly helpful when language barriers existed between vessels.
The International Code of Signals has gone through a number of revisions over the years, but it is still used today. A series of flags can be displayed to spell out a word or message, or many of the individual flags have specific messages behind them.
The Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum will be hosting a program on Friday, May 13, at 7 p.m. for park visitors to learn about the International Code of Signals. Participants will then create their own message by painting a series of signal flags on a rustic piece of wood to display in their home or yard. In an effort to recycle and reuse park materials, each piece of wood has been hand-cut from old picnic tables from the Delaware Seashore State Park campground.
The program costs $20 per person and is considered suitable for those 15 or older. Pre-registration is required and can be done by calling the Indian River Life-Saving Station at (302) 227-6991.
For more information on this or other programs at Delaware Seashore State Park, visit destateparks.com.
Delaware Seashore State Park offers beach driving clinic
Beach driving has been part of the Delaware Seashore tradition for years; however, some drivers are uncertain when it comes to driving off the road and onto the sand. For these people, the Beach Driving Clinic can help.
The program on Sunday, May 15 at 9 a.m. will outline park rules, licensing and equipment requirements, as well as driving techniques to get drivers ready for beach-driving on their own time. After a short indoor portion, drivers with appropriate vehicle tags and safety equipment will have the opportunity to practice their beach driving under instructor guidance.
Surf tags are available for a fee at the park shop with the presentation of the vehicle’s registration. Safety equipment includes a tow rope, a shovel, a 16-by-16-by-.5-inch board, and a tire gauge.
The cost is $8, and pre-registration is required, as space is limited. The program meets at the Indian River Life-Saving Station Museum, located 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. For more information or to register, contact the Indian River Life-Saving Station at (302) 227-6991 or at destateparks.com.