Previous names

  • 1937 LV no. 91
Certificate no 137
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Light vessel
Location Swansea
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No
Web address


Builder Philip & Son, Dartmouth
Built in 1937
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Towed
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
25.97 feet (7.92 m)
15.00 feet (4.58 m)
Length: Overall
118.66 feet (36.19 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



This light vessel was built as No. 91 for the Corporation of Trinity House by Philip and Son Ltd. of Dartmouth in 1937. She was deployed on various stations, her first being the Humber from 1937 to 1942. On 3 April 1942 she was damaged in collision with steamer MAURICE ROSE and again on 1 September 1942, she was hit by the steamer ARMATHIA. She moved to her final station, the Helwick, off the Worm's Head, for the last six years of her sea-service from 1971 to 1977. Like nearly all lightships she is not self-propelled, being towed to each station by a tug. Her diesel engines were used to generate electricity to power the light and to make compressed air to operate the fog horn. LV 91 had eight 110 volt (375 watt) lamps giving 650,000 candle power. Whilst stationed on Helwick her lamp sequence was 0.5 second flash and 9.5 second eclipse. Her fog horn, powered by compressed air at 35lbs per square inch sounded one blast of three seconds followed by twenty seven seconds of silence. Her full complement of crew was two masters and nine men who rotated on a four week cycle with only seven onboard at any one time. The crew were relieved by boat right up until her retirement as the layout of the deck with two masts meant that there was no space to build a landing platform for helicopters. Swansea Museum acquired LV 91 in 1977 with a 50% grant from the Science Museum and monies raised by The Friends of the Maritime and Industrial Museum. Source; David Jenkins, Advisory Committee, March 2009


Helwick Light Vessel No. 91, Swansea Maritime Museum
Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, pp153, Edition 2, 1993  

Key dates

  • 1937

    Vessel built for the Corporation of Trinity House by Philip & Son Ltd, Dartmouth, Devon

  • 1937-1942

    Operated on Humber station

  • 3 April 1942 Damaged in collision with steamer MAURICE ROSE
  • 1 September 1942 Damaged in collision with steamer ARMATHIA
  • 1971-1977 On station at Helwick
  • 1977 Sold to Swansea Museum

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