United States lightship Relief (WLV-605)

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Relief (WAL-605)
Photo of the vessel taken from a walkway northeast of it.
United States
Builder: Rice Brothers
Laid down: 1 March 1949
Launched: 4 May 1950
Sponsored by: Miss Elizabeth F Loughlin
Commissioned: 15 February 1951
Decommissioned: 1 January 1976
Out of service: 1975
  • WAL-605 (1950–1965)
  • WLV-605 (1965–)
Status: Museum ship
General characteristics
Tonnage: 400 gross register tons (GRT)
Displacement: 546 Loaded Tons
  • 128 ft (39 m) LOA
  • 112 ft (34 m) LWL
Beam: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
Depth: 21.4 ft (6.5 m)
Lightship WAL-605, RELIEF
LS 13.jpg
Serving as WLV-605 at Overfalls
United States lightship Relief (WLV-605) is located in California
United States lightship Relief (WLV-605)
LocationOakland, California
Coordinates37°47′44.48″N 122°16′50.13″W / 37.7956889°N 122.2805917°W / 37.7956889; -122.2805917Coordinates: 37°47′44.48″N 122°16′50.13″W / 37.7956889°N 122.2805917°W / 37.7956889; -122.2805917
ArchitectRice Brothers
NRHP reference No.89002462
CHISL No.1036[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP20 December 1989[2]
Designated NHL20 December 1989[3]

United States lightship Relief (WLV-605) is a lightvessel now serving as a museum ship in Oakland, California. Built in 1950, she is one of a small number of surviving lightships, and one of an even smaller number built specifically for the United States Coast Guard. Along with her sister ship, the WLV-604 Columbia,[4] she is a good example of the last generation of lightships built. She was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989.[3]

Description and history[edit]

WLV-605 is located on the Oakland waterfront, at the far eastern end of the Port of Oakland just west of the Oakland Ferry Terminal. The ship has a welded steel hull 128 feet (39 m) long, with a beam of 30 feet (9.1 m) and a hold depth of 21.4 feet (6.5 m). She is register at 400 gross tons. Above-deck features include a steel deckhouse, a breakwater fore, and two steel masts on which its lights are mounted. She also historically carried a fog signal and bell, both operated by hand.[5]

WLV-605 was laid down as WAL-605 in 1949 at the Rice Brothers shipyard in East Boothbay Harbor, Maine. She was launched on March 4, 1950, just sixteen days after Columbia, and was delivered, fully fitted, to the Coast Guard on February 11, 1951. She began service at the lightstation "Overfalls" at the entrance to Delaware Bay, serving until 1960, when the station was discontinued. She then sailed to the west coast, where she served at "Blunts Reef" until 1969; during this time Coast Guard lightvessels were redesignated, and she was redesignated WLV-605. She was then given the name "Relief", assigned duty to relieve other lightships on the Pacific coast. She was retired from service in 1975 and decommissioned the following year.[5]

After several unsuccessful attempts to convert her to a museum ship, she was acquired in 1986 by the United States Lighthouse Society, which now maintains the vessel in Oakland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "California Historic Landmarks: Alameda County". Office of Historical Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "LIGHTSHIP Wal-605 "Relief"". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  4. ^ "WLV-605 - Lightship RELIEF". rudyalicelighthouse.net. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
  5. ^ a b "NHL nomination for Lightship WAL-605, Relief". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-01-27.

External links[edit]