The Frying Pan Lightship is a National Landmark.
The story of Frying Pan Lightship reads like a mystery novel with many twists and turns. After sinking twice and laying submerged for 3 years who would have thought it would end being part of a popular restaurant in Manhattan?
The Frying Pan Lightship is docked at Pier 66.
Like all Lightships the Frying Pan is a floating lighthouse built to withstand storms and dangers like hurricanes. Yet it was the sad fate of the Frying Pan Lightship to survive World War II and Hurricane Donna in 1960 only to lay submerged for three years before finding new life in New York. How did all this happen?
A view of the Frying Pan Lightship.
Light Vessel #115 or the Frying Pan Lightship was built in 1929 to help vessels avoid the treacherous Frying Pan Shoals near Cape Fear, North Carolina. The shoals are sandbars that look like long handed frying pans.
A glimpse of the lightship from Pier 66 Maritime Restaurant.
The Frying Pan Lightship stayed at Cape Fear for several decades. It left briefly to serve during World War II near the Panama Canal. After several years, the lightship was replaced in 1964 by a light tower and then sailed to Cape May, New Jersey to serve as a relief lightship.
Two years later it was donated as surplus by the Coast Guard to a maritime museum in Southport, North Carolina. When the museum fell on hard times, the lightship sank at the dock. The lightship eventually was refloated and moved to Whitehaven, Maryland.
After a pipe burst, the lightship sank again and was submerged for three years. Down but not out, the Frying Pan Lightship was bought, salvaged and restored. The lightship then was dry docked in Baltimore and eventually taken to Philadelphia. The lightship sailed to New York where it now serves alongside a restaurant.