U.S. Coast Guard Lightships

& Those of the U.S. Lighthouse Service


 

VESSEL DESIGNATION: LV 37


YEAR BUILT: 1869

BUILT AT: Philadelphia (PA)

BUILDER: John W. Lynn

APPROPRIATION: $100,000 (Approp. Mar 3 1869 "for construction of 2 relief vessels", used for LV 37 & 38)

CONTRACT PRICE: ?

SISTER VESSELS: None

DESIGN: Wood-live oak, white oak & yellow pine; copper & galv. iron fastened; bowsprit; 2 masts; daymark on main only

LENGTH: 98'0" (lbp); BEAM:236"; DRAFT: 10'6"; TONNAGE: 242 gross

PROPULSION: Sail- schooner rig; fore and main carried on spencer masts

ILLUMINATING APPARATUS: 2 lanterns each with 8 oil lamps

FOG SIGNAL: Hand operated 1000-lb bell


CONSTRUCTION NOTES - MODIFICATIONS - EQUIPMENT CHANGES & IMPROVEMENTS:

1872: Supplied with 4000-lb mushroom & chain purchased from Navy Dept-
1875: Hauled and thoroughly repaired - $2143.03-
1876: Overhauled and repaired-
1880: Apr 15-Oct 12, hauled and found in bad condition; "not a timber between wind and water was not decayed" - Rebuilt-
1881: Jul 28-Oct 6, brought to Wilmington (DE) for repairs-
1883: Jul 8-Aug 1, new mainmast & rigging, new tiller chains, lantern houses lined with tin and floored with copper-
1885: Deck recaulked on station, 2 new boats supplied-
1890: Feb 12-Mar 6, at Wilmington (DE), new rudder and mainmast, galley refitted-
1892: Dec, extensive repair & refit prior to Relief duty assignment

STATION ASSIGNMENTS:

1869-1876: Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1876-1888: Winter Quarter Shoal (VA)
1888: Relief (4th District)
1888-1892: Fenwick Island Shoal (DE)
1892-1893: Relief (4th District)


HISTORICAL NOTES:

1869: Dec 15, placed on Five Fathom Bank (NJ)-
1872: Mar, parted chain arid drifted; picked up replaced on station by Revenue steamer COLFAX-
1874: Jan 16, parted chain and drifted 3/4 mi E x 5; continued to show lights until Mar 2, when repositioned by tender-
1874: Apr 22, liberty boat capsized while crossing Cold Spring bar; 4 crewmen lost , "keeper" was rescued by pilot boat-
1875: Dec 14, parted chain and anchored 1 mile seaward of station continued to chow lights until repositioned Dec 20-
1876: Oct 4, p laced on Winter Quarter Shoal (VA)-
1877: Apr 10 broke adrift and "took refuge" in Hampton Roads, returning to station under sail Apr 17-
1878: Jun 31, shipped a heavy sea which threw the 3500-lb spare anchor inboard onto the foredeck, destroyed forward lantern house and damaged the lantern-
1888: May 18, withdrawn and assigned Relief: duty; (replaced by LV 45)-
1888: Oct 29, placed on Fenwick Island Shoal (DE)-
1892: soon to be replaced by a steam propelled light vessel"-
1892: Withdrawn and brought to Edgemoor Depot "for use as Relief vessel'

More notes: LV 37-
1893: Aug 23/24, while relieving Five Fathom Bank (NJ) hurricane force winds came up on Aug 23. Breaking seas boarded the vessel frequently and she developed a list to port believed to have been caused by spare chain ranged on deck which had slid into lee scuppers. During a lull, vessel was struck broadside by 4 successive seas, capsized and sank immediately at 0147 Aug 24. Four of six men aboard were lost; two picked up by pilot boat. Investigation concluded that the main hatch cover had not been adequately secured, companionway and other deck openings had not been closed, and chain had not been veered to full scope as required by regulations; and that the vessel could have survived "had proper action been taken." "If the Assistant Keeper had been a man of larger experience and more resources... water could have been kept out". Assistant Keeper went down with the ship.

RETIRED FROM LIGHTSHIP DUTY: 1893; AGE: 24

SUBSEQUENT DISPOSITION: 

First US lightship sunk on station; salvage considered impractical therefore wreck was "blown up and destroyed" by the USS VESUVIUS Oct 16, 1893

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Modified 1/26/2012