Famous Lights

Cape Sarichef Lighthouse, Unimak Island

The information contained in this section is taken verbatim from HISTORICALLY FAMOUS LIGHTHOUSES - CG-232. Although the format has been changed slightly for better reading and display. BJ 'n Cindy
Two primary lighthouses mark Unimak Pass, the principal passage through the Aleutian Islands into the Bering Sea. One of these, Cape Sarichef- originally built in 1904, is the only manned lighthouse on the shores of the Bering Sea. It is located on the west end of Unimak Island and with Scotch Cap Light Station, 17 miles away, is conceded to be one of the most isolated light stations in the Service. The only neighbor to the keepers, for many years was a trapper, 10 miles away.

The original light was on a wood tower on an octagonal wood building 45 feet high. The light was 126 feet above the sea. Although quarters were originally provided for them, families were not permitted to live at this and Scotch Cap Light, because of their isolation. The civilian keepers were granted 1 year’s leave each 4 years. Coast Guard personnel now serving at the light serve a year at a time at this isolated location. At the end of his year’s tour each man is transferred to a new duty station.

The reservation on which Cape Sarichef Light is built is 1,845 acres of primeval wilderness. The first lighthouse cost $80,000 to build. The tower has now been rebuilt and incorporated with a loran station.

The 700,000 candlepower, 375-millimeter electric white light is lit for 25 seconds and eclipsed for 5 seconds. There is also a fog horn and a radiobeacon. (1)(2)