Swiftsure Lightship (LV-83/WAL-513)

Seattle, Washington - 1904 (1904**)

Photo of the Swiftsure Lightship (LV-83/WAL-513).

History of the Swiftsure Lightship (LV-83/WAL-513)

Posted/Updated by Bryan Penberthy on 2006-02-20.

Light vessel 83 is one of the oldest lightships in the country. It was built in Camden, NJ in 1904 at a cost of $90,000. It was placed into duty on the West Coast with its first assignment being Blunts Reef in California. To get there, it steamed around the tip of South America.

According to the US Coast Guard, the LV83/WAL 508 lightship served many posts.

  • 1905-1930: Blunts Reef (CA)
  • 1930-1942: San Francisco (CA)
  • 1942-1945: Examination Vessel, WWII, outfitted for Navy use
  • 1945-1951: San Francisco (CA)
  • 1951-1960: Relief (West Coast)

The name RELIEF was given due to the nature of the assignments. It would steam to other positions when another ship needed to be removed from service for maintenance. The name Swiftsure was given in 1995 and came about as the turning mark for the annual international Swiftsure yacht race.

Directions: The lightship sits at the Northwest Seaport in South Lake Union Park in Downtown Seattle. The park is at Terry Ave. N. and Valley Street.

Access: Grounds open. Tower closed.

View more Swiftsure Lightship (LV-83/WAL-513) pictures
Tower Information
Tower Height: Unknown
Focal Plane: Unknown
Active Aid to Navigation: Deactivated (1961)
*Latitude: 47.62800 N
*Longitude: -122.33600 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.