lifeboat bridge mirror anchor

THE SHIP

kentish_knock.jpgOn 22nd September 1953 Light Vessel 14 was launched from the yard of Philip and sons shipbuilders of Dartmouth costing £80,685. Later that year, on 27th November, she was commissioned by Trinity House and initially she was stationed at Kentish Knock. After that she served at a number of other stations around the coastal waters of the United Kingdom including Cowes, Scarweather and Morecombe Bay.

Weighing 550 tons with an overall length of 137 feet, LV14 was built to withstand all the might of the sea. It took eleven people to crew the vessel with seven on board at any one time. In 1975 a landing platforms was added so that the crews could be changed by helicopter.

The LV14 was last stationed off Rhossili, on the Gower Peninsula, in South Wales from 1984 - 1989. The beam from the light tower could be seen from 25 miles away and warned sailors of the Helwick Swatch, a treacherous sand bank.

A lightship has no propulsion of its own because most of its life is at anchor. When it needs to be relocated a lightship is towed by a tender.

More than 50 years later LV 14 is still serving the community but in a rather different way to her original purpose. With help from Cardiff Bay Development Corporation, LV14 was purchased in 1993 and restoration begun to create a floating Christian Centre.