Columbia Lightship (WLV-604)

Astoria, Oregon - 1951 (1951**)

Photo of the Columbia Lightship (WLV-604).

History of the Columbia Lightship (WLV-604)

The Columbia Lightship marked the entrance to the Columbia River at the Pacific Ocean. Several vessels would be known as "Columbia". LV #50 was the first Columbia Lighthouse and was stationed at the mouth of the river in 1892. This became the first lightship actively deployed on the West Coast. It served until 1909, when it was replaced by LV-88. LV-88 served the Columbia for 30 years until 1939 when it was replaced by a similar ship called LV-93. LV-93 served until 1951 when WLV-604 took over.

WLV-604 would be the last vessel known as the Columbia. The ship was made of steel, and was 128 feet long, 30 feet wide, and draft of 11 feet. The ship was powered by a diesel engine made by Atlas Imperial. The lighting system on the WLV 604 was a 375mm lens visible for up to 13 miles. Fog warning was provided by two diaphone signals on either side of the ship. The lightship was decommissioned in 1979 and replaced by a lighted navigational buoy (LNB). The LNB was eventually retied as well.

The Columbia Lightship was the first lighthsip to serve on the west coast, and the last one to be decommissioned on the west coast. WLV-604 is open to the public at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon.

Directions: The lightship is located along Highway 30 in Astoria. At the point where Highway 101 heads north over the Columbia River, you want to follow Highway 30, which turns into Marine Drive.

View more Columbia Lightship (WLV-604) pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: 66.00'
Focal Plane: 67'
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1979)
*Latitude: 46.19000 N
*Longitude: -123.82400 W
See this lighthouse on Google Maps.


* Please note that all GPS coordinates are approximated and are meant to put you in the vicinity of the lighthouse, not for navigation purposes.

** This year denotes a station date. This is the year that a lighthouse was first reported in the vicinity or at that location.

All photographs and information on this site is copyright © 2016 Bryan Penberthy unless otherwise specified. No content may be used without written permission. Any questions or comments, please email me.