In 1896, the light from the tower was supplemented by a lightship positioned nine miles offshore in the Atlantic. This postcard depicts one of three ships which served in sequence through about 1942. In 1921, the Fire Island Lightship was equipped as a radio beacon in coordination with two other navigational aids: that was the most up-to-the-minute navigational technology.
In the midst of what must have been tedious tours of duty, the lightship experienced occasional moments of excitement, such as collisions with other ships. In 1941, on Christmas day, the lightship noted in their log that they had sighted the flares of a prowling German U-Boat.
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