Reef Dives: Carysfort Lighthouse

Carysfort Lighthouse Key Largo

The Carysfort Lighthouse marks the main body of the four mile long Carysfort Reef system. The lighthouse is the oldest functioning lighthouse of its type in the United States. It’s an impressive 112 foot tall structure constructed in 1852.

This is what Carysfort Lighthouse and the surrounding reef looks like from the air …

Carysfort Lighthouse Wiki

Carysfort Reef Light is located approximately six nautical miles east of Key Largo, Florida. The lighthouse has an iron screw-pile foundation with a platform, and a skeletal, octagonal, pyramidal tower, which is painted red. The light is 100 feet (30 m) above the water.

It is the oldest functioning lighthouse of its type in the United States, completed in 1852. Carysfort Reef is named for HMS Carysfort (1766), a 20-gun Royal Navy post ship that ran aground on the reef in 1770. The light is currently a xenon flashtube beacon.

HMS Carysfort

courtesy of Wikipedia

HMS Carysfort was a 28-gun Coventry-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. She served during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars in a career that spanned over forty years.

She had a number of notable commanders during this period, and saw action in several single-ship actions against French and American opponents.

She took several privateers during the American War of Independence, though one of her most notable actions was the recapture of Castor, a Royal Navy frigate that a French squadron had captured nearly three weeks earlier and a French prize crew was sailing to France.

Carysfort engaged and forced the surrender of her larger opponent, restoring Castor to the British, though not without a controversy over the issue of prize money. Full details on Wikipedia

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