Built in 1929, Lightship #115 Frying Pan guarded its namesake, Frying Pan Shoals, 30 miles off of Cape Fear, NC, from 1930 to 1965. She is 133 feet and 3 inches in length with a 30 foot beam, and she is 632 gross tons. The unique shape of lightship hulls were designed to withstand the numerous storms, and even hurricanes, that would send other ships to safer harbors. 15 men lived aboard ship to keep the light atop the mast burning and the foghorn sounding regardless of the weather, season, or time of day. The crew were stationed aboard ship for three months, followed by two months of shore leave. It was said to be a job “filled with months of boredom followed by minutes of pure fear”.
Lightship Frying Pan has led a remarkable life. After being abandoned for 10 years while docked at an old oyster cannery on the Wicomico River in the Chesapeake Bay, we believe she sank due to a broken pipe. She was underwater for three years before being raised by salvors. Instead of going to the scrapyard, the ship was sold to its present owners. After tons of silt and shells were removed from the hull, the ship was outfitted with a new engine and, in 1989, was sailed to New York City. Frying Pan is now docked at Pier 66 Maritime which is located on Pier 66a in the Hudson River Park at West 26th Street and 12th Ave. in Manhattan, NY. While the outside of the ship has been restored to her original appearance, the inside retains the barnacle-encrusted, sunken-ship motif that acknowledges her storied past.
Captain John Krevey (1949 – 2011) was a waterfront entrepreneur and activist who brought historic ships to New York City’s West Side. Krevey began his work with the salvage and restoration of Lightship Frying Pan, eventually bringing her to New York City. He was a passionate about the history of the working waterfront and a strong advocate for waterfront accessibility to the public. Pier 66 Maritime carries on his work with a proactive stance for public access to the water and to preserving the maritime history of the New York City Harbor and the Hudson River.
“He leaves us a great legacy — and it’s not just about saving a rusty ship. It’s that spirit of sticking to your ideals, and creating a world where so many people are welcome.” –– Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Feb. 28, 2011 Article
“He was the waterfront before the waterfront was cool,” said his friend and colleague John Doswell
“Krevey was one of the earliest members of Friends of Hudson River Park, the civic group advocating for the 5-mile-long waterfront park. He was a member of the Friends’ board of directors until 2010….A lifelong enthusiast for historic ships, he bought the decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard Lightship Frying Pan, which was lying in the mud in Chesapeake Bay in the early ’80’s.”– The Villager, Feb 16, 2011 Article