Monday, August 15, 2016


On March 9, 1898, the United States Lighthouse Service assigned Lightship No. 71 (LV-71) to be anchored off Diamond Shoals, North Carolina. According to David Stick, in Graveyard of the Atlantic, LV-71 was "a tub-like 124-foot vessel, held in place by 185 fathoms of heavy chains (the links were eight inches in diameter) firmly attached to a 5,000 mushroom anchor imbedded [sic] in the sandy shoal."

USCG Photo, ca. 1910

On August 6, 1918, LV-71 was sunk during World War I when a German U-boat attacked her. All twelve crew members survived by rowing away in the ship's whaleboat as soon as the U-boat began firing. As Stick writes, it would normally have taken "something like five hours to get underway. Even if it had taken only five minutes [the crew] wouldl have stood practically no chance of eluding the U-boat in [the] lumbering light vessel...."

The LV-17's shipwrecked remains were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Our latest Ocracoke Newletter is the story of Augustus Cabarrus, early inlet pilot, and the present day d'Oelsnitz family. Click here to read the Newsletter: Ocracoke...The French Connection.  


  1. Anonymous4:29 PM

    this is not exactly your subject but I was the lens/light that is now in the hatteras lighthouse the original from 1870? wasn't there some kind of mix up with it after the civil war? Also what is the light from that is in the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum? Thanks, Jeff

    1. I will let Kevin Duffus speak to this question: "In September, 2002, the National Park Service and the managers of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore made a commitment to lend to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras village, the surviving pieces of the original Henry-Lapaute Fresnel lens, as a centerpiece for a major exhibit at the museum." For the full story (plot-twists, ironies, redemption and dishonor), please read Kevin's book (from which this quotation comes), "The Lost Light, The Mystery of the Missing Cape Hatteras Fresnel Lens."

      By the way, the lost light was the original 1853 (not 1870) Fresnel lens.

  2. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Philip thanks! I just looked up Kevin Duffus and will get that book this weekend. Thank you for helping with my sons question.