Gay Head Lighthouse approaches new footing. Photo credit: Joby Lubman
NOVA Operation Lighthouse Rescue airs on WSKG-TV May 4, 2016 at 9pm.
On the picturesque bluffs at the very tip of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, disaster looms. The historic Gay Head Lighthouse is soon to become the next victim of the persistent erosion of the island’s cliffs.
Built in 1856 and weighing more than 400 tons, the structure soars 175 feet above the sea. But over the years, storms and the raging ocean have eroded the headland away. With fierce storms and hurricanes intensifying as the global climate warms, this historic landmark is precipitously close to toppling into the ocean. Now, an epic rescue is underway as a team of engineers attempts to move the iconic red brick structure 134 feet inland to safety.