Nantucket Lighthouses, Lightships, and Lifesavers
The waters around Nantucket are deceptively dangerous. Many boats have been ripped apart in the shoals and rips around the island, and few older Nantucketers don't have stories about shipwrecks and disasters at sea. There have been many efforts to save lives in the waters of Nantucket, including lighthouses, lightships, and the life-saving service.

In 1746, the first lighthouse was built on Brant Point and in 1785, a lighthouse was built on Great Point. Sankaty Lighthouse was built in 1850.

The Massachusetts Humane Society (established 1786) first built a "hut of refuge" on Great Point in 1794. Later, in 1876, the U.S. Lifesaving Service was established, with stations at Surfside, Muskeget, Coskata, and Madaket. The motto of these men, who braved many a nor'easter in a ten foot boat, was "You have to go out, but you don't have to come back."
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