(Photos courtesy of NC Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History.)
Click on the pictures to see a larger view.

Name: Diamond Shoals Light Tower

County: Dare

Built: 1966

Operational: Yes

Body of Water: Atlantic Ocean

Color: Silver

Design: Plain

Height: 175 feet

Signal Visible: 20 miles

  The 1967-built Diamond Shoals Light Tower rises 75 feet above the Atlantic Ocean floor about 13 miles off Cape Hatteras in the area known as Diamond Shoals. The "Texas tower" framework is a steel Gulf Coast oil drilling platform atop four steel legs adapted for use as a lighthouse. It is equipped with a light, fog horn, a radio beacon, and a computer. In 1979, the onboard crew was removed, and the lighthouse has operated as an automated tower since. If the light tower needs service, its computer sends a radio signal to the nearest Coast Guard station. This light tower is a more reliable beacon for sailors than its predecessors. In 1824, the first Diamond Shoals Lightship was anchored at the outer edge of the shoals. However three violent storms proved too much for the lightship to hold anchor and it crashed it onto Ocracoke Beach the final time. The lightship was replaced first by a lighthouse that was anchored in the 25-foot deep water of the shoals, and later destroyed by a storm, and then by a new lightship which lasted 70 years. This lightship was sunk by a German submarine in 1918.