Lightship No. 116 Chesapeake
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

Year Built:Built 1930
Description:Lightship No. 116 <I>Chesapeake</I>Built in 1930 in Charleston, SC, this 133 foot ship marked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, several miles off-shore, from 1933 until 1965, except for a three year duty as harbor patrol in New England during WWII. When replaced by a platform light in 1965, the ship was moved to Delaware Bay for six years and then decommissioned in 1971. Today the ship is owned by the National Park Service and is under loan to the City of Baltimore where it is operated as a museum vessel by the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Designated a National Historic Landmark.
Type of Structure:133 feet long with a beam of 30 feet. Diesel powered with a maximum speed of 9 knots. 30,000 candle power light with Fresnel lens. Maintained a crew of 16.
Purpose:Marked the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay.
Interesting Facts:In 1962, ship was struck by the full force of an Atlantic hurricane. In a heavy sea, a huge wave broke over Chesapeake’s 20-foot high bow, carried away her foredeck fittings, damaged her steel pilot house and swept both lifeboats overboard. The ship's anchor chain snapped and the main 7,500 pound mushroom anchor was lost. Badly hurt and drifting, the ship made for her base in Norfolk. Emergency repairs were made so quickly that the lightship was back on station within 24 hours.
Related Gateway:Lightship Chesapeake & Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse
Photo(s):Lightship No. 116 <I>Chesapeake</I>
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