1871-1900 Yaquina Head Lighthouse Letter books

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Search for "RELIEF LIGHTSHIP" "Relief Lightship"

Coast Guard District narrative histories 1945

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This plan met Headquarters' approval but was put into operation for only a brief time. Too many difficulties resulted to warrant the discontinuance of the relief. Water, sufficient only for 25 days, could be carried and this supply was greatly diminished when the fog signal was in operation. Special trips to replenish the water were made by the tenders, requiring a full day from their regular duties in the servicing of aids. The motor lifeboats were also required to deliver fresh food and vegetables and medical supplies. In addition to these difficulties, the proper operation of the radiobeacon was affected; batteries only charged full when the ship was off station because when charged over 1190 specific gravity while on station, the timer on the radiobeacon was thrown off. The 24-hour continuous beacon operation was a tremendous strain on the storage battery and generating equipment. The two-week schedule was not interrupted again until the RELIEF LIGHTSHIP #92 was placed on the Recognition Station, Strait of Juan de Fuca when the No. 88 needed relief for repairs. During one such relief, the Commanding Officer of the No. 92, a Chief Boatswain, performed the duties which were ordinarily handled by the seven officers aboard the Recognition Ship. Because of the efficient manner in which he handled this station, the Chief Boatswain was highly commended by the Navy.

Although the Light List indicated that radio messages of importance in the maintenance of aids to navigation, or on other urgent matters, could be received during the first fifteen minutes of each hour from 0800 to 2015, this service was not used for many years and, consequently, was discontinued in 1944 in order to replace the radioman who serviced the equipment by a radio technician to handle the radiobeacon equipment. The necessity of a technician became evident when a failure of the radiobeacon could not be remedied due to the lack of spare tubes aboard. A survey of the stock proved an adequate supply of tubes on hand, but the radioman was unfamiliar with the beacon equipment.

The war altered but slightly the routine of the LIGHTSHIP #92 and #93. Other than the issuance of small arms and a lookout for the northbound vessels, the lightships maintained and performed their peacetime duties. The regular radiobeacon equipment was operated alternately with the standby equipment to insure proper operation and repair on both units. It was discovered that the antenna on the main equipment was more efficient than that on the standby equipment so an antenna transfer switch was installed to permit operation of both transmitters on the main antenna. To preclude any failure of

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