Digest>Archives> Sep/Oct 2020

From the Lighthouse Service Bulletin

By Jack Graham


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Lighthouse Service tender Cedar. (Lighthouse ...

This column continues to provide excerpts from the “Lighthouse Service Bulletin,” a monthly publication of the Bureau of Lighthouses, U.S. Department of Commerce. The first was issued in January 1912, and it continued throughout the existence of the Bureau. Unedited quotes from Volume III No. 55, dated July 2, 1928 follow. The Bulletin had as its object “supplying information that will be immediately useful in maintaining or improving the standards of the Lighthouse Service, and of keeping the personnel advised of the progress of work and matters of general interest in the service and in lighthouse work in general.”

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John W. Leadbetter, captain of the lighthouse ...

Visit of Foreign Lighthouse Authorities - During the latter part of May representatives of several foreign lighthouse services visited the United States and inspected various units of the Lighthouse Service of this country. The party consisted of G. Meyer, Chief Engineer of the German Lighthouse Service, Berlin; P. van Braam van Vloten, Chief Engineer of the Lighthouse Service of Holland, Scheveningen; A. deRouville, Chief Engineer of the Lighthouse Service of France, Paris; J. Romein, secretary of the committee on buoyage, Geneva; and J.G. Macphail, Commissioner of Lights of Canada, Ottawa. These gentlemen arrived in New York on May 15, and during their stay in this country they visited the General Lighthouse Depot on Staten Island, inspected various systems of navigation in the vicinity of New York Harbor, and spent several days in Washington conferring on lighthouse and buoyage problems and inspecting the work of the various technical divisions at the headquarters of the Lighthouse Service. They then visited the fifth lighthouse district between Baltimore and Norfolk, and went to the eleventh lighthouse district, stopping at Detroit and various stations, going as far as the Soo Locks. They were accompanied by F. P. Dillon, Superintendent of Lighthouses . . . . It is believed that this visit of representatives of these important foreign organizations will be of great mutual value in the exchange of technical and other information regarding lighthouse work.

First Radio Beacon In Africa - Spain has recently established a radio beacon at Cape Tres Forcas, Morocco. This is the first radiobeacon on the coast of Africa, although it is expected that such a signal will also be installed at the internationally maintained lighthouse at Cape Spartel, south of the entrance to the Mediterranean. The radiobeacon at Cape Tres Forcas transmits the letters T F followed by a long dash of four second duration. This group will be repeated 6 times for 1 minute, after which there will be a silence of 4 minutes. The signal is transmitted on 300 kilocycles (1000 meters), continuous wave.

Assistance Rendered By Lighthouse Tender Cedar - The officers and crew of the tender Cedar, Alaska, Capt. J. W. Leadbetter commanding, rendered valuable assistance on May 23 in saving passengers and crew of the sailing ship Star of Falkland, which was stranded on the northeast point of Akun Island, near Unimak Pass into the Bering Sea. With the use of the Cedar’s launch and boats, 263 persons were taken off the Star of Falkland and temporarily provided for onboard the Cedar. The tender personnel have been commended for this assistance.

Award of Second Service Bar to Keeper C. A. Sterling - On May 21, 1928, the Treasury Department sent to C. A. Sterling, keeper of Craney Island Lighthouse, Virginia, a silver life-saving medal of honor, second service bar, in recognition of his service in rescuing a man from drowning when the motor boat Defiance burned in the vicinity of the station on December 29, 1927. On July 26, 1924, Keeper Sterling rescued from drowning several passengers on the steamer Gratitude, and the Treasury Department awarded him a silver life-saving medal of honor for this rescue.

Power Boat For Handling Buoys in Shallow Water - A new type of power boat has recently been constructed for the third district and placed in service. This boat is carried on the deck of a large tender and has proved to be of exceptional value in the work of relieving spar buoys located in shallow and restricted waters and in maintaining small gas buoys in shallow water that were heretofore inaccessible for vessels capable of working gas buoys. It has been found that this work can be more quickly and economically accomplished with this boat than could be done with a larger tender with its regular boats. It supersedes the old method of using two boats from the tender, lashed together “catamaran style” which required much longer time and more men to obtain the same results. The boat is 37 feet 6 inches over all in length, with a beam of 11 feet and a depth of 4 feet 7 inches. It is constructed of oak with cedar planking and is fitted with a folding “A” frame derrick and gear, and propelled by a 4-cylinder, 4-cycle gasoline engine, direct connected to a shaft driving a 3-blade right-hand propeller, 22 inches in diameter, with a pitch of 12 inches.

Crew of Five-Fathom Bank Lightship Rescues Coast Guard Flier - Five-Fathom Bank Lightship, No. 108, stationed 18 miles off Wildwood, N.J., Alfred Johansen commanding, on June 8 rescued a Coast Guard warrant officer, who had made a forced landing in an amphibian airplane in the vicinity of the lightship. The officer was brought aboard the lightship in the ship’s motor boat and the plane was towed alongside, where it was pumped out. The officers and crew of the lightship have been commended for this assistance.

This story appeared in the Sep/Oct 2020 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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