BATH — Rare home movie footage and a chance to hear a massive fog bell toll will be a few of the highlights of a Coast Guard exhibit that launches June 8 at Maine Maritime Museum.

The depth and breadth of the Coast Guard’s duties will be showcased in the summer exhibit, which runs through Oct. 15.

“Beyond the Breakers” will share the stories of brave and sacrificing families stationed at remote islands, tending lights and fog horns. Their overseas service, ice breaking and heroic rescues also will be featured.

“We have a nice variety of stories, recollections and anecdotes,” said Christopher Hall, curator of exhibits. “Some are funny and some are very respectful. Others tell us what it’s like being out in the middle of the most brutal weather and holding the station in the middle of the ocean.”

He has been editing old Super 8 film on DVD that shows daily life on a cutter in Vietnam, as well as ice breaking duty.

“These are pictures taken from the bridge that you would never see,” he said.

Video of the dramatic rescue of the HMS Bounty crew during Hurricane Sandy last year also will be available. The ship sank off North Carolina, with two casualties, but 14 crew members were saved by the Coast Guard.

The exhibit features Maine Maritime Museum memorabilia and loans from other maritime museums, private collections, the USCG and businesses.

Alongside historic artifacts will be modern gear, including the latest aids to navigation, like high-tech buoys and solar beacons with LEDs. Visitors will see the progression from vintage oil lamps and early acetylene gas-lit buoys to electric incandescent lamps and LEDs.

New foul weather gear, survival suits and life jackets will share space with antique barometers, cork life jackets and government-issue china dishes, dustpans and other household items. These items are marked as property of the USCG and are “evidence of the complexity of the service,” Hall noted.

Citizens who care for the old station buildings in Arrowsic on the Kennebec River have recreated the Fiddler’s Reach Fog Bell Tower and signal. Set up in the Main Hall of the museum, patrons will find one side of the tower and the old fog bell striker, which will be set in motion. The original 1,200-pound bell, removed in 1972 and displayed at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., will be on hand.

A similar bell, and the clockworks, will provide the public with a rare opportunity to hear a working fog bell striker. Demonstrations will be scheduled, and Hall still is figuring out how to handle the sound.

“The front desk people are going to kill me,” he chuckled. “I’ve tried to give ample warning.”

One Coast Guard cutter will hold a reunion during the exhibit’s run.

Hall said “Beyond the Breakers” will give visitors a new appreciation for the service the Coast Guard provides.

“It is unique because it is a branch of the armed services that is in among our lives. We see them all the time,” he said, referring to life jacket checks and other routine encounters Mainers have with personnel while at work and play.

“They are so professional, upbeat and calm. They are just very good at being among us, which takes a real degree of professionalism in itself,” he continued. “We expect their help. And we can summon their help. So my hat is off to the U.S. Coast Guard.”

The curator has relied on guidance from three mentors, all Coast Guard retirees and museum volunteers: Don Murphy, Richard Pelley and Jim Fetters.

A lecture series will accompany the summer exhibit. For more information, visit