PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Friends of Seguin Island Light Station are scrambling to turn the power back on at the lighthouse.
They've been in the dark since the U.S. Coast Guard cut off the power supply to the island after they discovered an exposed electrical cable. The cable runs from Popham Beach, underwater, to Seguin Island.
"The Coast Guard has deemed that unsafe because kids can climb on it," said Cyndy Carney, executive director of Friends of Seguin Island Light Station. "It's got 7,200 volts in it, so they decided to shut it down."
A temporary solar array was installed by the Coast Guard to guide ships, but Carney and other volunteers are responsible for powering the innkeepers' house, museum, gift shop and whistle house. A generator will be flown to Seguin in June to provide power during the 2019 tourist season. Rick Mayo recorded the wattage of everything electrical on the island to see about the possibility of having solar panels installed for future seasons.
RELATED: Bill Green travels to Sequin Light
"We've been so used to, as everybody is, when you flip the switch power is there," Mayo said. "Now where we don't have shore power to accommodate our needs we need to work up a system that will."
Seguin Island Light Station was commissioned by President George Washington in 1795. A beacon for ships navigating the rough waters where the Kennebec River and the Sheepscott River meat the Gulf of Maine. Between 2,500 and 3,000 tourists visit Seguin Island each year.
"You're surrounded 360 degrees by water and you can see forever," Carney said. "It's just a really special place."
The generator will cost around $5,500 and solar panels will cost around $35,000 to install. Friends of Seguin Island Light Station have set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost.