Capt. Albert Ocha

U.S. Life Saving Service


Albert Henry Ocha was born 5 Apr 1863 in Port Hope, Huron Co., Michigan, growing up in Tawas, Iosco County, Michigan where the family lived near the Life Saving Station. There he helped his father with a fishing business while young before joining the noble U.S. Life Saving Service in 1882.

He began service, training at the Life Saving station at Tawas point, and then was transferred to the Portage Canal Station near Houghton, Michigan in 1886, becoming the youngest Keeper in the service's history at only 23 years old! And that was the start of his notoriety.

He married twice. Fathered one daughter by his first wife, and 11 children by his second who predeceased him at the Two Heart L. S. Station in 1910 during childbirth. It is reported that he walked the lakeshore to Grand Marais to try to get the help of a doctor and arrived back at Two Heart too late to help. One of the things that is obvious through this and his saves on the lakes is his determination to care for others.

Albert served at the following stations: 
Ottawa or Tawas Point, Iosco Co., Michigan - Surfman - 1882 
Portage Canal, Houghton Co., Michigan - Keeper - 1886 to 1891 
Grand Point au Sable, Mason Co., Michigan - Surfman - 1892 to 1893 
Ashtabula, Ohio - Surfman - 1894 - 1895 
Crisp Point, Chippewa Co., Michigan - Surfman - 1896 to 1899 
Two Heart, Luce Co., Michigan - Keeper - 1900 to 1912 
Eagle Harbor, Keweenaw Co., Michigan - Keeper - September 26, 1912

After battling medical problems for years, it finally got the best of him on November 26, 1912 at Eagle Harbor, Life Saving Station at the young age of 49 at 8:00 p.m., Keweenaw County, Michigan.  He is buried in the Odd Fellows section of the Eagle Harbor Cemetery. 

Online A Great Rescue

Family File 


Sources of Information: Inland Seas, Vol 30 - #1 Spring 1974 Rescue in '86 by Capt. Adrian L. Lonsdale- about the rescue of Robert Wallace and David Wallace and Capt Ocha 29-34

Inland Seas, 1993 Vol. 49 #2 Great Lakes, Superior Sentinel, Capt. Albert Ocha

Wreck Ashore, by Frederick Stonehouse - various articles through out the book.

Article by Al Miller in the Nor'Easter - Pulication of the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association

Mining Journal November 20, 1886 - The Wallace Saves - Newspaper Article

Mining Journal October 29, 1887 - The Bradley Saves - Newspaper Article

Other Books by Frederick Stonehouse

Lake Superior's "Shipwreck Coast" pg.231 Keweenaw Shipwrecks pg. 335

Lake Superior Shipwrecks by Julius Wolff, Jr. pg. 50

"Schooners In Peril", by James L. Donahue Copyright 1995 pg. 120

Employment Records, Payroll Records, Station Log Book of Eagle Harbor Life Saving Station and Light Station.





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