Overfalls Lightship

Overfalls Lightship (HMQ02)

Location: Lewes, DE 19958 Sussex County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 46.683', W 75° 8.482'

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Lewes Maritime History Trail

The Lightship Overfalls is one of the 179 ships that servrd as floating lighthouses on America's three coasts and the Great Lakes between 1820 and 1985. Lightships were used where it was not feasible to build a lighthouse, possibly because the water was too deep or the shoals were constantly shifting. Each ship had a light for visibility at night and some mechanism for making noise in fog.
Several of these ships served in and around Delaware Bay from 1823 to 1972, eventually being replaced by either lighthouses or buoys. Throughout this period the ships were constantly being upgraded: from sail to mechanical propulsion, from wood to steel construction, from oil lams to electric lights, and a variety of improvements that added to human safety and comfort. Even so, lightship duty was hazardous for the crews because the ships remained on station in severe storms when all other vessels were advised to seek shelter. In addition, the foghorns were deafening for those on board and often led to permanent hearing damage. Foghorns on the vessel in front of you, for example, could be heard for up to five miles.
Although the lightship, LV 118, did not serve on the Overfalls station, she is similar to the last ship that did. And she is an historic vessel in her own right, serving on three stations on the New England Coast from 1938 to 1972. In 1973, she was brought to Delaware and given the name Overfalls in honor of the lightship station closet to Lewes.
HM NumberHMQ02
Placed ByCity of Lewes
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 3:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 487720 N 4292156
Decimal Degrees38.77805000, -75.14136667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 46.683', W 75° 8.482'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 46' 40.98" N, 75° 8' 28.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)302
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2 Shipcarpenter St, Lewes DE 19958, US
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