As we look back on the year that was, 2023 stands out as a landmark year in the history of Frying Pan Tower. From major infrastructure accomplishments to groundbreaking research initiatives, our dedicated team and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make significant strides in the restoration and enhancement of this iconic maritime landmark.
Celebrating a Milestone: The 25KW Caterpillar Diesel Generator System
In 2023, we celebrated the successful completion of the 25KW Caterpillar diesel generator system—a pivotal milestone in our mission. This undertaking involved the meticulous patching of a 7500-gallon water cooling system, the installation of an electrical switching system for seamless transitions between solar and generator power, and the addition of an industrial-sized fuel tank to secure a substantial reserve of diesel fuel.
Transformative Restoration: Addressing the Eroded Upper Walkway Support Structure
Our commitment to safety led us to address another critical issue—the eroded support structure of the upper walkways. A thorough engineering assessment revealed flaws in the original design, necessitating their removal. This not only ensured the safety of our visitors but also allowed us to repurpose stainless-steel gratings and handrails from the walkways into new ones in the belly area. Our dedicated volunteers were instrumental in driving this transformative operation, and thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to procure new welding tools and an industrial plasma torch.
Energizing the Future: Advancing Sustainable Solutions for Frying Pan Tower
As the year unfolded, the need for sustainable energy solutions became even more apparent. We initiated a comprehensive strategy to secure donations for critical components such as a steel solar panel support structure, solar panels, inverters, and storage batteries. While we’ve previously installed some panels and inverters, our mission to further bolster the tower’s energy independence continues. Our aim is to strategically line the entire outer perimeter of the helipad with solar panels, a project that remains a top priority heading into 2024. These components are instrumental in our ongoing commitment to power the tower predominantly through solar energy, a significant step towards reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
Enhancing Exploration: Dive Operations, Streaming Cameras, and Improved Wi-Fi
Below the tower, we expanded our capabilities with dive operations, facilitating reviews of the structure and the installation of streaming cameras for scientific research, educational purposes, and the benefit of mariners. We also improved our free Wi-Fi to provide nearby boaters with valuable access to weather forecasts, radar data, and communication services, enhancing safety and convenience for all who navigate the waters near the Frying Pan Tower’s offshore location.
Celebrating Collaboration: Research and Education Initiatives in 2023
In the realms of research and education, 2023 was a year of collaboration and discovery. FPTower Inc. proudly facilitated research initiatives with partners such as NOAA, NASA, and local colleges, supporting teachers, observing Earth’s emissions from space, and preparing to enable students to remotely operate our underwater ROV (remotely operated vehicle) via an Internet connection established through a microwave dish located 56 miles away on a land-based communications tower.
Forging a Brighter Future: Frying Pan Tower's Vision and Gratitude
As we reflect on these achievements, we’re inspired by the progress made and the endless possibilities that lie ahead. The Frying Pan Tower is not just a maritime landmark; it’s a hub of innovation, conservation, and education. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated volunteers, sponsors, and supporters who have been instrumental in making this year’s accomplishments possible. Together, we’re forging a brighter future for Frying Pan Tower and the communities it serves.
Restoring Frying Pan Tower™
FPTower Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of restoring Frying Pan Tower™. Our purpose is to restore, protect and preserve the retired USCG light tower so it can continue to provide safety to mariners in the Atlantic, offer shelter to a natural ecosystem for marine wildlife, and be a resource for environmental research and education studies.
There are many ways you can help us achieve this goal, but the biggest impact you can make is by giving a monetary contribution. Every dollar counts with 100% of the proceeds being used to cover the costs of restoration and repairs.