The Lightship Overfalls in Lewes has opened its gangway for tours of the lightship, the American Lightship Museum, and the Monomoy Lifeboat.
One of the last remaining lightships from a fleet of over 100 such vessels in use from the mid-19th century until the 1970s, the Lightship Overfalls is now a designated National Historic Landmark, one of only a few in Delaware.
Following an opening ceremony and the induction of five new members to the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame May 21, the ship welcomed its first visitors on Maritime Day May 22.
The ship and its associated museum facilities are open for tours from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thursday to Sunday. A Delaware Public Health-approved COVID safety protocol is in place to keep both visitors and volunteer staff comfortably safe. Tours are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. To arrange private tours, go to overfalls.org. Tours during July will be free to students and their families who can show proof of college acceptance/attendance.
As the summer season gets into full swing, there are many special events planned at the ship site on the canalfront in downtown Lewes.
During Fun with Flags June 23, a fun family program for children and accompanying adults, attendees toured the ship, participated in games and created their own signal flag plaque.
Future family programs are Why Knot, set for 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, July 21, and Stars and Navigation, set for 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18. Cost for the family programs is $5 per child and accompanying adult.
For details or to register, contact Sue Tolbert at 302-947-2269 or go to overfalls.org.
The ship deck is the perfect viewing spot for the Lewes Independence Day Boat Parade, leaving Roosevelt Inlet at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, July 4. Following the parade, awards will be presented to the winning crews on the deck of the Overfalls.
There are volunteer opportunities for any level of interest or skill, from teenagers to seniors. An easy way to learn more about these opportunities is to visit the ship during operating hours Thursday through Sunday. Interested volunteers can also call Dave Beck at 302-827-4973.