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New London - Like live video feeds that show cars zooming down Interstate 95 or waves lapping on the beach at the Cape Cod National Seashore, the Custom House Maritime Museum wants to put a camera atop the New London Harbor Light to capture the comings and goings in the harbor.
"The whole thing is a wonderful idea,'' said Susan Tamulevich, director of the museum, which took ownership of the Pequot Avenue lighthouse two years ago.
At any given time, viewers could see the cargo ships, submarines, ferries and pleasure boats that routinely travel up and down the Thames River and across Long Island Sound. In the summer, boat races could be seen live. Thunderstorms could be watched rolling up the Sound.
"It would be great," said Tamulevich.
But like many great ideas, money is needed for it become a reality.
Tamulevich said ABC affiliate Channel 8 in New Haven was on board last year to set a camera atop the 89-foot tall lighthouse. But the price of installing and maintaining high-speed cable was going to cost $800 to $1,000 a month, she said. It's money the struggling maritime museum does not have.
But Tamulevich has not given up on the project. She's applied for a grant from Port Visions Maritime Business Systems, a maritime technology company, and has written to AT&T to see if there is some way to lower the costs.
Brian McCarthy, a member of the museum, suggested the camera idea several years ago, Tamulevich said.
The views of the river and the Sound could attract interest from tourists and commercial fishermen, she said. Schools could use the live feed in their classrooms. It could be an aid to navigation and could be a tool for protecting the ports. Homeland Security site agents meet once a month at the Custom House, Tamulevich said, and they like the idea.
"There's a lot of interest," she said. "It's just the kind of thing that happens here. You get an idea and you throw it out there and see what happens."