LIGHTSHIP NANTUCKET (LV 112, then WAL 534)
Class: LV 112 Lightship
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Nantucket Lightship/LV- 112, the largest U.S. lightship ever built, is the only United States lightship paid for by a foreign government. She replaced Nantucket/LV- 117 which was sunk by the British ocean liner RMS Olympic, sister ship of Titanic. Olympic rammed LV-117 in 1934, while she was assigned to the Nantucket Shoals lightship station, the most remote and dangerous lightship station in the world. LV-112 had no sister vessels and was built to be virtually unsinkable with a high degree of compartmentalization (43 water-tight compartments). LV-112 was also built with a double hull and double shell plating. The Nantucket station is 100 miles off the mainland out to sea and marks the main shipping routes to New York and Boston harbors from Europe. LV-112 was also the only lightship station in the world located in international waters. In addition, LV-112 served on that station until the beginning of World War II when she was taken off station, armed and assigned to the defense of Portland, Maine harbor. She returned to the Nantucket station after the War and served until 1975, when she was replaced by an unmanned large navigation buoy (LNB). Lightship Nantucket/LV-112 survived 39 years of storms at sea and two major hurricanes, a testament to her stout construction. LV-112 served longer than any lightship vessel Nantucket lightship station.
Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 is a National Historic Landmark (1989). Shew was selected as a National Treasure, one of 30 historic sites in the United States by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (2012).
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