Scotch Cap Light, Unimak Island

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Scotch Cap Light, Unimak Island

by | Jul 21, 2018

The Scotch Cap Light is located on the southwest corner of Unimak Island, about 714 miles (1151 km) southwest of Anchorage and 81 miles (131 km) northeast of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. The light provides an aid to navigation for vessels following the Great Circle shipping route through Unimak Pass.

The original light was built in 1903 on a wooden octagonal structure. In 1931 a radio beacon was installed in a separate building at a higher elevation, at about 85 feet (25 m), to broadcast a navigation signal for ships and aircraft. A new light station was built in 1940 with a steel-reinforced concrete lighthouse and fog signal building.

On April 1, 1946, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake and underwater landslide in the Aleutian Islands created a giant tsunami wave.  The tsunami traveled across the Pacific and killed 159 people in Hawaii, drowned a swimmer in Santa Cruz, damaged fishing boats in Chile, and wrecked a hut on Antarctica. A wave about 130 feet high (40 m) struck the lighthouse at 2:18 a.m, leaving nothing but the foundation. A steel skeleton tower was built to replace the lighthouse and the light was automated in 1971. Read more here and here. Explore more of Scotch Cap here:

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