Nantucket Lightship LV-112
256 Marginal St.
East Boston, MA 02128
Good for Groups, History, Photoworthy, Seasonal
Nantucket Lightship/LV-112, a National Historic Landmark, is the largest U.S. lightship ever built and served on the most treacherous and remote lightship station in the world. Nantucket/LV-112 is unique — one of a kind— and its homeport has always been Boston. It operated from 1936 to 1975 with the U.S.
Lighthouse Service and U.S. Coast Guard First District—Base Boston. In 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected LV-112 as a National Treasure. LV-112 was considered state-of-the-art when built, exclusively designed to be virtually unsinkable and withstand the hazardous conditions of Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station, where it served for 39 years—anchored 100 miles off the U.S. mainland. A lightship is a floating lighthouse that was administered and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition, lightships were stationed off U.S. coastal waters, including the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico where it was impractical or not feasible to build a permanent lighthouse structure. LV-112 was built after its predecessor, Nantucket/LV-117, was rammed and sunk in heavy fog by the RMS Olympic, a sister ship to the RMS Titanic. Seven of the eleven LV-117 crew-members died as a result of the collision. Nantucket Lightship was the first navigational beacon and U.S. landmark seen by ships and immigrants on board entering the United States from Europe—nicknamed “The Statue of Liberty of the Sea.” Transatlantic shipping from Europe set their course to Nantucket Shoals Lightship Station, upon entering the main U.S. shipping lanes to their ports of call—primarily the ports of New York and New Jersey.