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Report - LV72 'JUNO', Neath Abbey Wharf August 2014


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
My first ever explore of an abandoned ship, this one was very special and unique. Despite being a Maritime enthusiast I had not come across Lightvessels until I explored this one alongside Lenston, The Kwan, Extreme Ironing and The_Raw. A tremendously sad site but extremely photogenic - every turn was a photo opportunity and reading up on the history afterwards was fascinating. Also a very exciting experience for a newbie to urban climbing!


LV72 was built for the Trinity House Lighthouse and Lightvessel Authority in 1903, using the same hull plate and rivet construction made famous by the Titanic. She saw service in a variety of different stations from 1903 until the Second World War, where in 1944 she played a major role in Operation Overlord - otherwise known as the D-Day Landings in Normandy. Carrying the name 'JUNO',she marked a safe passage through a minefield for the landing craft on route to the invasion beaches.
She remained on station in Normandy until 27 January 1945 when she was towed to Le Havre for repairs following various collisions and heavy seas. She was replaced the following year in service by the LE HARVE and was towed to Harwich. Between 1945 and 1949 she saw active service at Smith Knoll Station, at Varne Station until 1952, and at various English and Welsh Grounds stations until 1954. On November 30 1954 her chain broke and she drifted from her station.
The end of her active service was seen in 1972 when she was laid up in Swansea and sold to the Steel Supply Company in Neath for scrap the following year. When sold, she was the oldest vessel in the Trinity House fleet at 70 years. She was used as a company office for a time and later considered for conversion into a floating nightclub, but this plan was never followed through. She is now moored in a mud berth at Neath Abbey Wharf near to the swing bridge, and left to herself. The hull is in very poor condition and absorbs water with every swell of the river.
This iron ship is an especially important example in Lightvessel history, being the only remaining example of a lightvessel carrying both oil powered and electric powered mechanisms.
A truly sad end to a long life of active service at sea.


LV72 in active service during WW2


Painting of LV72 during the D-Day Landings


a truly sad sight




forward deck


as much of the interior as I could see. Underfoot is deep mud thats easy to get stuck in...as I discovered


Looking forward, Port Side


and Starboard Side



rusting portholes


I had fun monkeying across the Port Side through this door to 'disembark'


The Bow


The Lighttower


man-sized chains


anchors away!!

fact: Lightvessels were always painted red, with the station name in white on the sides of the hull and a system of balls and cones at the masthead for identification. The majority of Britain's lightvessels were withdrawn from service between 1970-80 and replaced by lightfloats and buoys, which were a cheaper alternative. Those LV's that remain active are now unmanned and solar powered.

thanks for reading!!

Last edited:

Oxygen Thief

Staff member
Re: LV72 'JUNO', Neath Abbey Wharf

You're right, it's not a fitting end to a proper little hero.


28DL Member
28DL Member
The majority of Britain's lightvessels were withdrawn from service between 1970-80 and replaced by lightfloats and buoys, which were a cheaper alternative. Those LV's that remain active are now unmanned and solar powered????


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