Daniel R. May graduated with a degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, in the Class of 1979. After time aboard the Coast Guard cutter Ingram, based in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dan became the ocean engineer for the Fifth Coast Guard District. He earned a master’s degree in ocean engineering from the University of Rhode Island in 1982.
During his time as the ocean engineer for the Fifth District, Dan worked on lighthouse projects from Delaware Bay to the Carolinas, along with other engineering projects involving buoys and other structures on the water. After time as the commanding officer of Coast Guard Station St. Louis, Dan moved to Civil Engineering Unit Providence, Rhode Island, where he served as the project engineer for several major lighthouse projects including the relocation of Block Island Southeast Light, the first move of a major lighthouse structure in the United States.
Dan retired as a rear admiral in 2013. This is part one of a two-part interview.
In part one, Dan talks with host Jeremy D’Entremont about projects involving erosion control at Montauk Light Station, New York, the moves of Block Island Southeast Lighthouse in Rhode Island and Highland Light in Massachusetts, and several projects involving Boston Light.
Jeremy D’Entremont is the author of more than 20 books and hundreds of articles on lighthouses and maritime history. He is the president and historian for the American Lighthouse Foundation and founder of Friends of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouses, and he has lectured and narrated cruises throughout the Northeast and in other regions. He is also the producer and host of the U.S. Lighthouse Society podcast, “Light Hearted.” He can be emailed at Jeremy@uslhs.org