LV38 Gull Lightvessel

LV38 before her mast and lantern were removed.
Photo © John Winfield (cc-by-sa/2.0)

LV38 is one of the few wooden lightvessels remaining, though she is in a poor state. She became known as the Gull Lightvessel after a short period of service on the Gull station covering the western limit of the Goodwin Sands.

She was built in 1860 by Charles Hill and Sons, Bristol.

Between 1860 and 1929, LV38 served on the Nab, Would, Lyn Well and Gull stations. In March 1929 a liner, the City of York, collided with the lightship, and it sank. The crew were rescued, although Captain Williams died later. The vessel was salvaged and repaired in Ramsgate.

The lightvessel served on the Brake station between 1929 – 1940, and from 1940 – 1941 was moved to the Mouse station before being decommissioned and moved to Great Yarmouth.

In 1946 the vessel was sold to the newly formed Thurrock Yacht Club for use as their clubhouse. However, by 1962 the copper outer skin had been removed and the vessel was in disrepair. She was sold again in 1982, and in June 2002 was damaged by fire, caused by arsonists.

By 2007 the lightship had been left to decay in the sand. Her mast and lantern were removed in 2012 and re-erected at Thurrock Yacht club where it remains.

The wreck is still visible in the sand close to the yacht club.

More photos of the vessel can be found on the Lightvessels and Lightships Facebook page.

Established: 1860
Discontinued: circa 1941