The legacy of the actual lifeboat involved in ''the greatest small-boat rescue in the history of the Coast Guard,'' lives on in Orleans. The retired 36-foot CG36500, fully restored and operational, is the pride of the OHS and still plies its home waters of Cape Cod.
The boat was made famous by its crew of four in the February 18th, 1952 rescue of 32 survivors of the ill-fated tanker Pendleton, during a ferocious storm. The boat is a rescue story in itself. After more than two decades of meritorious Coast Guard service, the CG36500 was decommissioned in 1968 and sat neglected and nearly forgotten for years.
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 in 1981. It has been carefully rebuilt and maintained by many dedicated volunteers with the support of generous grants and individual donations; 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.