Hazardous Lighthouse Service Duty

Forum dedicated to photos and information regarding history of lights, life-saving stations, keepers, lost lighthouses and more.

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Postby island » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:28 am

Keeper Catherine Murdock of Rondout Creek Light was in the dining area of this Hudson River lighthouse in and about 1859 when suddenly her daily routine was significantly disrupted when the bowsprit and bow of a schooner came crashing through the wall and window.

The screwpile Thimble Shoals Light was struck by a four-masted schooner during a storm in December 1909. The schooner was under tow but could not be controlled putting the tug in danger of capsize so the tow line was released. The schooner soon rammed the lighthouse causing the floor of the lighthouse to give way. The stove to overturned causing a fire that consumed the lighthouse wood structure. The two keepers were rescued by the tug.

On April 24, 1919, Relief Light Vessel No. 51 stationed on Cornfield Point Light Vessel Station, Connecticut was struck by a Standard Oil Co. Barge No. 58 in tow of the company`s tug. The ship went down in eight minutes. No lives were lost on the ship. They were picked up by the tug.

One might expect lighthouse employees might be safer on land. Not so. In January of 1913 the wall of lighthouse depot at Detroit was struck by an out of control switch engine of the Michigan Central Railway. The engine derailed and damaged several boats and other property.
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