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- 5/21/2013 – Lightship “Swiftsure” to Undergo Major Rehabilitation
- 5/3/2013 – Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Hero Award May 30
- 12/6/2012 – Deck Corking Workshop Open to Public
- 9/30/2012 – Northwest Seaport Presents Gold Rush Tugboats: a Celebration of Historic Tugs which Ferried Klondike Fever
- 7/1/2011 Lightship No 83 “Swiftsure” Sparks Up!
- 5/5/2010 – Retired Seattle Parks manager, MIT educated naval architect, conservationist among new board at NW Seaport. PR: New Directors 2010 PDF.
- 4/15/2010 – 1889 Tugboat Arthur Foss Chosen to Compete in Partners in Preservation Program. PR: Partners in Preservation 2010 PDF.
- 5/31/2013 4Culture, Flo Lentz Receives Maritime Hero Award
- Seattle Channel 21 (tugboat storytime highlights: 01:40 start)
- March/April 2013 WoodenBoat Magazine, Tom Jackson
- 1/10/2013 Wooden Boat Dan, Interview | Nat Howe of Northwest Seaport – Wooden Boat Guru and Museologist
- 12/29/2012 The Seattle Times, Vintage Vessels Share MOHAI Spotlight (“History Afloat Outside MOHAI, Front Page PDF) Regarding Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park
- 10/12/2012 The Seattle Times, John Grade’s “Wawona” sculpture installed at MOHAI (Schooner WAWAONA wood)
- 7/1/2011 The Seattle Times, Historic lightship lighting up beacon in Seattle
- 7/1/2011 Three Sheets Northwest, Historic lightship to shine for first time in half century
- 8/2/2010 Seattle’s Child, Erica Lee Bigelow (parent) review of Tugboat Storytime
Read this NWS release which sparked up lighthouse aficionados and more.
7/1/2011 Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure” Sparks Up!
At 10 pm on the evening of July 1, 2011 Shannon Fitzgerald, president of Northwest Seaport, flipped a switch that lit the beacon of the “Swiftsure” Lightship that is permanently moored at Lake Union Park in Seattle. It had been over 50 years since the navigation light guided mariners and their ships to ports at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and other lightship stations along the Pacific Coast. The completing of the circuit finished the first phase of the restoration of the Lightship No. 83, aka. “Swiftsure.” Recent successes include purchasing the wood for a new upper deck, re-electrifying the beacon and other systems, stabilizing the smoke stack and masts, adding new bilge pumps, and installing alarms systems. This work was made possible through Federal Transportation Enhancement Act funds made available to NWS through the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and matched with funds from 4Culture, the Washington Heritage Capital Projects Fund, and the Lighthouse Environmental Program’s License Plate Grant Program (those cool specialty plates with the lighthouse on them). The lightship stabilization work was accomplished by the Old Tacoma Marine and Lake Union Dry Dock companies.
Long before radar, LORAN, and GPS technology guided navigators, lightships marked offshore shipping hazards and entrances to major ports. They were the last known points as you were bound offshore, and the first signs that you were coming home. The LV No. 83 was built in 1904 and served along the West Coast for over 50 years and literally saved lives and weathered some of the severest storms. She served off Cape Mendocino, San Francisco, and at the three northern lightship stations when she was the “Relief” for Coast Guard District 13 based in Seattle. As ocean buoys and electronic navigation were put into place, lightships were retired in the 1960s and 1970s.
The “Swiftsure” is the only lightship that has her original steam engine and is the best example of a second-generation lightship characterized by her wooden decks and houses built upon the lapstrake, riveted steel plates of her hull. Because of these characteristics, she is a unique treasure designated as a National Historic Landmark.