Lightship Overfalls

Lightship Overfalls (HMCP6)

Location: Lewes, DE 19958 Sussex County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 46.669', W 75° 8.492'

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Responsible for establishing aids for the navigation of our nation's waterways, the United States government Initiated the use of manned lightships or "floating lighthouses" in 1820. These vessels addressed many needs. They could be placed in locations where deep water or shifting shoals made fixed structures impractical or impossible, and they could be moved and repositioned easily. The beacon on the lightship's mast and the sound of its foghorn contributed greatly to the safe passage of ships in various weather conditions. By the mid-20th century the increasing use of automated lights and radio signals made these vessels obsolete. With the decommissioning of the last vessel in 1985, the era of the lightship was ended.

The Lightship Overfalls (LV-118 or WAL-539) was built in 1938 at the Rice Brothers Shipyard in East Boothbay, Maine. It was one of the last lightships constructed. Duty stations included Boston Harbor and two locations near Long Island, New York. After retirement from active service it was given to the Lewes Historical Society in 1973. The ship was renamed to recognize the lightship station on Overfalls Shoals that marked the southern entrance to the Delaware Bay. On December 7, 2001, ownership of the ship was transferred to the Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation. The Lightship Overfalls is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
HM NumberHMCP6
Marker NumberSC-175
Year Placed2003
Placed ByDelaware Public Archives
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 2:37pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 487706 N 4292130
Decimal Degrees38.77781667, -75.14153333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 46.669', W 75° 8.492'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 46' 40.14" N, 75° 8' 29.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)302
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2 Shipcarpenter St, Lewes DE 19958, US
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