Umatilla Lightship, Pennock Island

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The Lightship LV 196 is now privately owned and last seen moored off Pennock Island in Southeast Alaska. This was the last lightship to mark Umatilla Reef.

Umatilla Reef is off the coast of Cape Alava in Washington State where several sea stacks and islets are located, with Umatilla Reef being the westernmost of these navigational hazards. The reef is named for the steamer Umatilla that ran aground here in high seas and blinding snow on February 1884.

Lightships were historically used where lighthouse construction was not possible, although the type has become largely obsolete and replaced by automated buoys. Fourteen years after the Umatilla grounded, the first Lightship Umatilla (LV 67) was anchored near the reef to prevent other vessels from experiencing the same fate. After a series of replacements, LV 196 served at Umatilla Reef from 1961 to 1971, when it was decommissioned. The ship is now used as a floating barracks for work crews. Read more about the lightship here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Pennock Island.