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When the captain of the Setuckit Life Saving Station on Cape Cod retires, Calvin Homer, the second in command, expects to be promoted; but the appointment goes instead to Bartlett, a religious fanatic who has been the recipient of a good deal of favorable newspaper publicity. Calvin hands in his resignation, but Norma, Bartlett's daughter, persuades him to stay on. Calvin falls in love with Norma, and Myra Fuller, the village vamp, breaks off her engagement to him. During a big storm, a vessel in distress is sighted, but Bartlett, overcome by cowardice, refuses to send out a rescue team. Calvin takes the men out and effects the rescue. Bartlett is discharged, and Calvin is appointed to replace him. Driven insane by his experiences, Bartlett ventures out in a small boat in rough water, and Calvin rescues him. The old man dies from exposure, and Norma, having realized that Calvin was not responsible for her father's disgrace, seeks refuge in his strong arms.