Hunting New England Shipwrecks
Nantucket Lightship LV-112
Lightship LV-112 was built in 1936 and for many years was stationed 40 miles southeast of Nantucket Island to warn ships away from the dangerous Nantucket Shoals. LV-112 was one of several vessels that served on this station over the years. Crews of men from the U.S. Lifesaving Service, and later the U.S. Coast Guard, served on board these vessels. It was a dangerous, and usually boring duty assignment. Over the years, there were many close brushes with ship collisions, particularly on foggy days. And in 1934, one of the lightships (LV-117) was sunk (with the loss of 7 of its 11 crewmen), when it was rammed by the White Star Line steamer Olympic (see our data page on the LV-117 wreck). The Nantucket Shoals lightships were later replaced with an automated buoy.
The LV-112 was decommissioned in the 1975, and over the next 30-some years spent time in several East Coast ports, serving mostly as an under-funded museum. In 1989 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. Then in 2009, when the vessel was in very poor condition and about to be scrapped, our friend and fellow diver Bob Mannino purchased it for $1.00, and took on the big job of saving it, and raising the huge amount of money needed to restore it. The vessel is now docked in Boston Harbor, and the fund-raising and restoration efforts have been underway for several years. Monetary and in-kind contributions are still needed, and volunteer workers are always welcome. And some day soon, Mannino says, the United States Lightship Museum will officially open on the Boston waterfront. Meanwhile, the vessels is open to visitors and volunteers most of the year, while the restoration work proceeds. For details, check out the official website via the link below.
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