Association History

Provided  by
Jim  Gill Past President



                Lightship Sailors came about through the ideas and efforts of Marty Krzywicki who worked for over a year to bring about the first reunion of this group in August of 1999.

          The reunion was held in Quincy, MA and hosted by the Friends of Lightship Nantucket- 1 (WLV-612) Although small in number, with only 27 lightship sailors in attendance, the interest generated was intense. A general meeting was held and various topics discussed. The name of the organization would be, U.S.C.G. LIGHTSHIP SAILORS ASSOCIATION INC .

          Lightships, as navigational aids, are a thing of the past. The last lightship station bit the dust in 1983. (Nantucket) Of the once mighty fleet of well over 100 ships, only a few remain and of those about half are beyond hope. The many, perhaps thousands, of stalwart souls that manned those ships have dwindled as well. As we greet the new millennium it is sobering to realize that by the year 2100 there will be not one lightship sailor left and possibly not even one ship.

          The purpose of Lightship Sailors Association then, is to preserve what we can of traditions and history of an era that spanned 1820 to 1983, with 179 ships that served 116 stations. The stations of course are now non-existent, and consist only of empty stretches of water marked by a buoy or perhaps not marked at all. The ships too are all but gone. Of that once proud and mighty fleet only 15 remain and half of those are beyond hope of saving. Here too, Lightship Sailors are dedicated to preserving those remaining ships.

          The Association is growing rapidly and I take this opportunity to invite you to join us. As of December 2002 our ranks numbered over 680. All those who once served in a lightship are especially welcome and urgently needed.

      If there was a family member with lightship service, you too are welcome. Or perhaps there is no direct connection but only an intense interest in this colorful chapter of our maritime history, and then you also are invited aboard.

      Please contact our Association Secretary for information by clicking on the e mail button below. Thank you.


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Copyright 2003  U.S.C.G.  Lightship Sailors Assoc. Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10/23/06.