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Weather Channel Broadcasts Live from the Lighthouse

Posted by: Chuck Meide in In the News, LAMPosts

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On Friday, the Weather Channel came to the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum to stage a series of interviews for live broadcast, to celebrate National Lighthouse Day.

From the St. Augustine Record:


The nation’s oldest city got a big dose of national attention Friday morning when The Weather Channel came to town to broadcast live from the St. Augustine Lighthouse, mixing meteorology, maritime history, archaeology and even a bit of ghostly lore.

From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., The Weather Channel meteorologists Mike Bettes and Maria LaRosa hosted a special edition of the morning show, Your Weather Today, from the courtyard in front of the lighthouse. The episode, entitled “The American Lighthouse,” celebrated lighthouses around the country, but the star of the show was clearly St. Augustine’s familiar black and white striped lighthouse, which was erected in 1874.


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Click here to see the broadcast from the Lighthouse, with an interview with a Coast Guard officer about Lighthouse operations and the Coast Guard.

For Friday’s live feed, TWC brought a video crew of nine, including a sound person, three camera operators and a satellite technician.

“They started setting up around 4 a.m., said Rick Cain, deputy director of the lighthouse. “We’re absolutely thrilled that out of all the lighthouses around the country they could have chosen to broadcast live from, they chose us.”

Cain was also interviewed on air by Bettes and LaRosa at 7 a.m., and talked about the history of the lighthouse.

One of the longer segments featured a look at some of the artifacts found by the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), which is dedicated to the investigation, interpretation and understanding of the maritime history and archaeology of the First Coast through historical research and scientific study of shipwrecks and other maritime archaeological sites.

LAMP director Chuck Meide was on hand with a team of interns and volunteers to bring out several items found on one particular wreck, which is believed to have been a British ship carrying refugees loyal to the Crown from Charleston, S.C., to St. Augustine — at that time a British colony — at the very end of the U.S. Revolutionary War.

Meide showed several artifacts, including a musket pistol, a teapot, several spoons, a shoe buckle, a candlestick and other personal items found on the wreck. But the biggest and best item brought out was a remarkably preserved ship’s bell, which Meide called “the Holy Grail of shipwreck archaeology.”

“When we found this on the bottom, our jaws dropped,” Meide said. “This is very rare. You don’t find many ship’s bells when you’re diving on a wreck.”

Meide said it was the only ship’s bell ever excavated in Florida waters by archaeologists.

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Click here to see video of Weather Channel hosts interviewing Lighthouse Director of Operations Rick Cain.

So far there's no video of the archaeologists' interviews up online, but we'll let you know if they make it available! What an exciting day, and what great exposure for the Lighthouse and our great history and present-day programs!

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