- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BEAUFORT, N.C. (AP) - Federal researchers have begun a survey of the historic wreck of Diamond Shoal Lightship No. 71, the only American lightship sunk by the enemy during World War I.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say the expedition off Beaufort will document the site, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August.

The lightship was built in 1897. Among its duties was marking the treacherous waters of Diamond Shoals off the North Carolina coast for other vessels.

On Aug. 6, 1918, a German submarine attacked the vessel while it was anchored off Cape Hatteras. The lightship’s 12 crew members were able to escape.

The federal researchers include teams from the NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Other partners include East Carolina University and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute.

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