Nantucket Lightship LV-112
August 2013

In this issue
Tour Nantucket/LV-112
Preservation and Yankee Magazine feature LV-112
Cameron International
Helps LV-112
Donor Spotlight
Strategic Importance of Nantucket Lightship
Connecticut Students
Revisit LV-112
Broadcast / LV-112
Antique & Classic Boat Festival
Become a Member

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LV-112 Note Cards Available 



  Now available for purchase are colorful LV-112 note cards, featuring a stylized illustration of LV-112 and other notable Boston landmarks. These new cards are packaged in a gift box of 10 with matching envelopes. The cards measure 4.5" x 6" (folded) and include a brief history of LV-112 on the back. Volunteer Susan Oliveira initiated the design of the cards with a local graphic artist and with her husband, Fred, generously donated the production costs.


  As the primary purpose of the cards is for fundraising, we are requesting a donation of $20 per box, plus $5.35 for shipping and handling. To order, please make checks payable to:  


  USLM-Nantucket//LV-112 and mail to USLM, P.O. Box 454, Amesbury, MA 01913. 


We Salute Our Donors


Amex Industrial Services, Inc.
Bluefin Robotics

Boston Harbor 

Shipyard & Marina
The Boston Foundation
ThreeBees Fund 

 Cameron International Corporation


Claflin & Son

Nautical Antiques


Crandall Dry Dock Engineers 


Donahue, Tucker &

Ciandella, PLLC 


East Boston Foundation


BAE Systems   


Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation 


Fitzgerald Shipyard


Foss Maritime


J. Hewitt Marine

Electrical Services


The Lenfest Foundation


McAllister Towing & Transportation Co.  


National Trust for 

Historic Preservation

New England 

Lighthouse Lovers


New London Maritime Society and Custom House Maritime Museum 



Industrial Marine Coatings Division
T & M Services


Town of Oyster Bay, 

Long Island, NY

U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Sailors Association 


West Marine 


USLM Members  

Zuni Maritime Foundation

USS Zuni / USCG Tamaroa  


Individual Donors








USLM is a Member of the Following Organizations



CAMM Logo 


HNSA Logo 









Tour Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 this summer and fall


LV-112 family
Zampitella family reunites on LV-112.

Now is a perfect time to visit Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, an important and unique National Historic Landmark and National Treasure. Although LV-112 is undergoing restoration, this historic floating lighthouse is open to the general public for tours on Saturdays, 10am-4pm, through the last Saturday in November. In addition, LV-112 is open other days by appointment (individuals, groups, schools, etc.).


LV-112 John Rogers Class Field Trip
School teacher John Rogers and his fourth-grade students from Curtis Guild School, East Boston, break for lunch in LV-112's galley.
It has already been a busy and productive summer. With volunteer help, we continue to move forward with LV-112's restoration. Among the list of projects, we are presently restoring the Commanding Officer's quarters to depict the 1970-75 period, the final years that LV-112 was in service as a U.S. Coast Guard-commissioned lightship. This was an era when the
Doug Hatch
Doug Hatch from Boss-Tin sheet metal fabricators, East Boston, helping with restoration of the Captain's Quarters on LV-112.
average U.S. income was $9,350, a new Dodge Colt cost $4,785, bell-bottoms and leisure suits were in fashion, and gasoline was 36 cents per gallon. Restoring Nantucket/LV-112 is about more than preserving a historic structure. It also is about celebrating and learning about our nation's cultural history from 1936-75, the entire span that LV-112 was in service, and having fun at the same time. To arrange a visit, please contact us via
email or phone 617.797.0135.

Preservation magazine and Yankee magazine feature LV-112

Preservation Cover  

In addition to selecting Nantucket/LV-112 as one of 33 National Treasures in the United States, the National Trust for Historic Preservation featured our field-trip Yankee Magazine Cover programs for schoolchildren and teachers in their spring 2013 issue of Preservation magazine. To hear teacher John Rogers and his fourth-graders sing "The Nantucket Lightship Song," click here and post your comments on the Preservation Nation blog! 

Also, Yankee magazine selected Nantucket/LV-112 for "Best Nautical History" (click here) in their 2013 May/June issue, the "Best of New England."


Cameron International helps with LV-112's restoration 

Joe McClusky from Cameron
Joe McCluskey from Cameron International, standing next to the Cooper-Bessemer engine in LV-112 engine room.

Cameron International Corporation, based in Houston, TX, is a key supporter of the
LV-112's restoration, providing several major gifts. Cameron International is the owner of the Cooper-Bessemer engine division (Compression Systems Group of Cameron International). LV-112's main diesel engine is an 8-cylinder 900 HP Cooper-Bessemer that replaced the original triple-expansion steam engine during a major refit of the historic lightship in 1958-60. Earlier during World War II, Cooper-Bessemer contributed heavily to the war effort by manufacturing diesel engines for troop and cargo ships as well as warships, tugboats, rescue and patrol boats.


One of the USLM's goals is to restore the massive 6-foot-tall propulsion unit, which has not run in almost 10 years. Recently, one of Cameron's Cooper-Bessemer Power Systems technicians, Joe McCluskey, visited LV-112 to survey the main engine, the first step in getting it operational again.


Donor spotlight


Our many contributors (see list at left) and committed volunteers are making the rescue, restoration and preservation of LV-112 possible and continue to do so through their generous contributions and timeless efforts. Among recent donors, we salute the following:


Gerry Lenfest H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest. The generosity and passion for maritime history of H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, of Philadelphia, PA, has led to the largest single gift to LV-112. His gift will be used to underwrite a significant portion of the restoration of the plumbing and heating systems. With functioning systems, we will be able to expand educational programming to year-round (currently limited to warmer months) and provide full-day programming.


Gerry Lenfest served in the U.S. Navy for 27 years, both active and reserve duty, commanding a destroyer escort and three destroyer reserve crews. He not only achieved the rank of Captain, but also received commendations from the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations. His service in the Navy, his accomplishments as a businessman, attorney and philanthropist, and his dedication to historic preservation, education and the environment are exemplary. In addition to supporting Nantucket/LV-112, he also is committed to helping other historic preservation and educational initiatives such as the rescue of the SS United States and the newly designed American Revolution Museum currently underway in Philadelphia, a museum and educational center devoted exclusively to the American Revolution. His interests also include fostering educational programs for the marine environment, including launching the Lenfest Ocean Program. This grant-making program funds scientific research on policy-relevant topics concerning the world's oceans, then communicates the results to decision-makers and other interested audiences. It focuses on the environmental, economic and social impacts of fishing, fisheries management and aquaculture. Thank you, Mr. Lenfest, for your service and many contributions to our nation!


McAllister Tugboat McAllister Towing & Transportation Co. The USLM recently received a generous donation of a 90 ft. x 30 ft. steel-deck barge, used for vessel docking, from McAllister Towing & Transportation Co., Inc. Based in New York City, McAllister is one of the oldest and largest marine towing and transportation companies in the United States. Thank you!


NTHP Trustees
In June 2013, the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation toured LV-112. 


National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). With the help of an Intervention Fund Grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation as well as private donations, the USLM met an initial fundraising goal, directed towards necessary safety repairs to LV-112's berth. The berth upgrades have been completed for the purpose of providing better strength and security during storm conditions. In addition to this recent contribution, the NTHP assists the USLM with ongoing fundraising, public relations/news media and administrative support. Also, the NTHP has awarded other grants to the USLM, directed towards LV-112's restoration. The NTHP has been a very helpful partner to the USLM and LV-112. Thank you!


In our next issue, we will highlight Capt. Robertson Dinsmore (USCG, USMS Ret), the East Boston Foundation, New England Lighthouse Lovers (NELL), a chapter of the American Lighthouse Foundation and the Zuni Maritime Foundation

Strategic importance of the former Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station

USCG Argo Merchant
Argo Merchant breaking up on Nantucket Shoals and spilling its cargo of fuel oil, 1976.

Lightships stationed all around the U.S. from 1820 to 1983 were all vital navigational aids for ships at sea. However, Nantucket Shoals lightship station guided the most transatlantic shipping to and from the United States. Dubbed a "graveyard of the Atlantic," the treacherous and remote and expansive Nantucket Shoals area was plagued with inclement weather and blinding fog. Before lightships were assigned in 1854 off Nantucket Shoals to help guide and warn transatlantic commerce to and from Europe, more than 700 shipwrecks were documented in the surrounding waters. Nantucket Lightship was the last lightship and U.S. landmark seen by vessels departing the United States, as well as the first beacon seen on approach. Even with the aid of an anchored floating lighthouse, equipped with a powerful fog horn, a flashing warning light and radio beacon signal that could be seen and heard for many miles at sea, shipwrecks near Nantucket Shoals and within the main shipping lanes still occurred, albeit much less frequently.  


In December 1976, the Argo Merchant, a Liberian oil tanker laden with 7.6 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil, heading to Massachusetts Bay and searching for the guidance of Nantucket Lightship, missed the navigational aid and became lost at sea. The marine environment paid a heavy price. The oil tanker grounded out on an area of the shallow Nantucket Shoals, 26 miles from Nantucket Island, broke up and caused the third worst coastal oil spill in U.S. history to date. The book "Hard Aground" is a suspenseful action-packed story that reveals the facts behind this horrific environmental disaster, which could have been avoided. At the time, Peter A. Brunk (USCG CWO4 Ret.), a former Commanding Officer of Nantucket/LV-112 (1970-71), was on the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Strike Team (specifically trained to fight oil spills) as Chief Warrant Officer, assigned to this incident. Previously, a commercial fisherman, he enlisted in the USCG in 1954 and retired from active duty in 1980. Subsequently, Peter

Peter Brunk
Peter Brunk stands in front of LV-112 in dry dock at the Fitzgerald Shipyard, located in Chelsea, MA, 2012.

has been piloting tugboats and other commercial vessels and remains working in the maritime industry. Since 1992, Peter has been employed by one of the top environmental and emergency response companies in America, IMS Environmental Services (now HEPACO). as Senior Training Supervisor, Oil Spill Response and Training.


Peter Brunk's USCG service included active duty assignments as Commanding Officer on several Coast Guard vessels and other high-profile positions. As a result of his exceptional service, the U.S. Coast Guard has established the annual PETER A. BRUNK Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and devotion to duty during his career. This award is a lasting tribute to his continuous efforts to improve the USCG service and to inspire the quality leadership he practiced throughout his career. Peter currently lives in Portsmouth, VA, and serves on the U.S. Lightship Museum's Board of Directors and as an active volunteer. At age 76, Peter's lifelong passion and love for the sea motivates him to fill his spare time as a crab fisherman. Thank you, Peter, for your volunteer efforts and service to our nation!


Connecticut students and teachers revisit LV-112

Botell Students

For the second year in a row, a group of sixth-grade students and teachers from the Botelle School in Norfolk, CT, toured LV-112. The 20 students were on a one-week scheduled field trip to Cape Cod through Boston, visiting a number of historic maritime sites as part of their school curriculum. The USLM is currently creating educational programs in conjunction with educational professionals that utilize the Botelle School model. What a fun way to inspire learning!

LV-112 in worldwide radio broadcast event, August 17-18 

Nantucket/LV-112 radio room, 1936. Photo credit: U.S. Coast Guard.
For the third consecutive year, LV-112 will participate in the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend, a HAM radio event. On Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, LV-112 visitors can talk and listen to other HAM radio operators from lighthouses and other lightships from around the world, utilizing LV-112's antennas. We also will be communicating in Morse code. This annual amateur radio event, which started in Scotland in 1993, now has more 450 lighthouses and lightships in more than 50 countries participating each year (list of participants).

The event is always held on the third full weekend in August. It coincides with "International Lighthouse Day," an event organized by the Association of Lighthouse Keepers in which lighthouses worldwide are open to the public. In addition to promoting amateur radio and international goodwill, the event promotes awareness of lighthouses and lightships, which are fast becoming endangered species due to GPS, satellite navigation and automation of light sources to solar power. It is hoped the event will heighten awareness of preserving these magnificent structures.


Visit Our Booth at
Antique & Classic Boat Festival 

SATURDAY, Aug. 24, 11am to 5pm

SUNDAY, Aug. 25, 10am to 3pm

Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina, Salem, MA

Visitor Entrance on Turner Street


Antique & Classic Boat Festival 

The flash of polished bronze and gleam of varnished wood across the water will be the order of the day as elegant antique and classic yachts sail into Salem, MA, for the 31st Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival, August 24-25. Come visit the exhibit booth of U.S. Lightship Museum. Festival highlights include 40 vintage boats and fun for the whole family. "Where else can one see 1900s to 1960s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th-century gold-leaf canoe?" said Pat Wells, event coordinator. "Although many of these craft are museum quality, they are real boats in the water and in use by their owners today."


Some skippers sport vintage garb; others display period d├ęcor, table settings and captivating floral arrangements. Welcome mats are in evidence and children, pets and parrots have been known to enliven the scene. Many hospitable owners invite the public aboard for a personal tour and recount tales of their boat's history, memorable voyages, and the joys and woes of restoring their classic. A crafts fair, artists, old-time band music, children's activities, the Blessing of the Fleet and boat parade round out this popular event.


Become a USLM Member Today
For a gift of $1,000 or more, donors will receive a limited-edition, fine-art print signed by marine artist Gerald Levey.
When you become a member of the U.S. Lightship Museum (USLM), you will be helping rescue and preserve Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and National Treasure that is an important part of our nation's maritime heritage. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are a contributing partner in the legacy of the world's most famous and largest U.S. lightship ever built. The USLM is a member of the Council of Maritime Museums (CAMM) and the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA). All USLM members will be granted reciprocal privileges (free admission) at participating CAMM institutions. For more information about the benifits and the USLM Membership program, click on USLM Membership.


All electronic donations will be processed by PayPal.


The United States Lightship Museum 

The U.S. Lightship Museum is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the rescue and preservation of Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark and a National Treasure. LV-112 is a museum and floating learning center, open to the general public - a place for people of all ages to learn about our nation's seafaring history and the technologies that advanced the nautical and marine sciences.