Umatilla Lightship, Pennock Island

The last lightship to mark Umatilla Reef was formally designated as LV 196. Lightships were used where lighthouse construction was not possible, although the type has become largely obsolete and replaced by automated buoys. Umatilla Reef is off the coast of Cape Alava in Washington State where several sea stacks and islets are located, with Umatilla Reef being the westernmost of these navigational hazards. The reef is named for the steamer Umatilla that ran aground here in high seas and blinding snow on February 1884. Like so many named reefs, the ships name has remained attached to the reef. Fourteen years after the Umatilla grounded, the first Lightship Umatilla (LV 67) was anchored near the reef to prevent other vessels from experiencing the same misfortune. After a series of replacements, LV 196 served at Umatilla Reef from 1961 to 1971, when it was decommissioned. The ship is now moored off the north end of Pennock Island in Southeast Alaska and used as a floating barracks for work crews. Read more about the lightship here and here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore Pennock Island.