NORTHERN LIGHT


NORTHERN LIGHT
Year Built
1961
Official Number
286749
Ship Yard
Sun ShipBuilding & Drydock
General Type
Break Bulk
Specific Type
Break Bulk
Ship Length
487.0 feet
Beam
68.00 feet
Mast Height
130.2 feet
Net Tons
5781 tons
Gross Tons
9489 tons
Cargo Capacity
--
Draft, Summer
16.00 tons
Draft, Lightweight
11.6 tons
Displacement, Summer
18410 tons
Displacement, Lightweight
5873 tons
Immersion, Summer
57.0 tons
Immersion, Lightweight
40.0 tons


Historical Narrative



The break-bulk cargo ship Northern Light was originally built by Moore-McCormack Lines at the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Chester, Pennsylvania, as Mormaccove in 1961.

The vessel operated on all three of the company’s east coast-based services.  In March of 1977, the Mormaccove was turned over to the Maritime Administration and placed at its James River Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis, Virginia. 

On May 27, 1977, its name was shortened to  Cove and it was placed in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) on a ten-day activation status. 

On April 22, 1980, the Maritime Administration transferred the ship to the U.S. Navy where it was converted to a Navy supply ship for use as a maritime pre-positioning vessel stationed at Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean. 

Cove was renamed USNS Northern Light and designated T-AK 284. The ship’s use as a pre-positioning vessel was brief.  Northern Light was deactivated on April 26, 1984, and on October 22, it was returned to the RRF, this time in Suisun Bay, in Benicia, California. 

In 1990, Northern Light was among the 78 RRF ships activated to support Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.  The vessel was ordered to activate on August 24, 1990, and placed under the operational control of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.  It continued in service until September 1991. 

After deactivation, Northern Light was returned to lay-up in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, as an RRF retention asset.  However, in 1994 the “No Lights” was downgraded from the RRF as part of a force restructuring.

The vessel is currently berthed in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, in non-retention status.

Vessel Name History

1961 - 1977: Mormaccove
1977 - 1980: Cove
1980 - present: Northern Light
Historical Documents

No documents for this vessel


Milestones


Event: Ship Name Change
Date: 4/22/1980

Ship MORMACCOVE changes name to NORTHERN LIGHT
Event: Acquisition
Date: 10/22/1984

Title transferred from US Navy to MARAD
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 9/8/1997

ENRTE: Drydock & underwater inspection
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 9/8/1997

At Alameda Point for underwater survey
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 9/17/1997

ENRTE: Under tow to SBRF
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 9/18/1997

Returned from Alameda
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 3/23/1998

ENRTE: Alameda for ABS cargo inspection
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 3/23/1998

At Alameda Point for ABS inspection
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 7/1/1998

ENRTE: Under tow to SBRF w/ETA 07/01/98
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 7/1/1998

Completed tow to SBRF
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 10/30/2000

RRF maintenance
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 10/30/2000

At Pier 2 in Alameda CA
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 11/28/2000

Tow back to SBRF
Event: Interim Movement
Date: 11/28/2000

Towed back from Alameda
Event: Cleared NHPA Processing
Date: 12/1/2006

Vessel cleared NHPA processing this date (tacit approval).

Ship Imagery


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Status Cards



Documents


No documents for this vessel