Lightship 10 was ordered by Trinity House in March 1950 and was built at Philip & Sons Shipyard in Dartmouth. The vessel was launched on June 1st 1951, but only as a hull - the deck structures and light tower were still to be fitted, but this was soon done with the lightship starting in service before the end of the year.
The vessel was first sent to the Helwick Station, and later served at Nab whilst the Nab Tower lighthouse was being converted to automatic operation, which was complete by 1983. Automation of the lightship followed soon after, with conversion work taking place at Holmans Ltd of Penzance in 1984, at which point the conical roof and upper portion of the steering shelter, along with the Diaphone fog signal were removed, thereby drastically altering the profile of the ship. At this time the original Catoptric lighting apparatus was removed, and was replaced with a modern rotating fresnel lens, and the whole exterior of the vessel was painted red, whereas previously the lower deck structures were white.
Since automation the vessel has seen service at Sandettie and Sunk stations, as well as Foxtrot 3. A refit was carried out in Harwich in 2003. 2013 saw the original brass bell from Lightship 10 sold on Ebay. The 12" diameter bell sold for £561.
In 2018 the vessel was inspected in Dry Dock, and it was found that the hull was in very poor condition. By July of that year the vessel was seen under tow out of the River Tees, minus navigational equipment, appearing to have been repainted, and presumably with signifcant repairs made to the hull, as not long after, the vessel was refitted with Solar Panels, LED lights and weather equipment and back at the Sandettie station. Minutes made public from a meeting of the Trinity House board on 27th Septmber 2018 reveal that the hull of the lightship was showing signifcant signs of age, exhibiting damage described as "beyond that which has been seen before within the fleet", calling into question the long-term feasibility of maintaining the aging Trinity House lightship fleet.
The new white LED lights are exhibited from inside the lantern room and can be seen around a full 360 degrees - they flash once every 5 seconds and are visible for 15 Nautical Miles. The electric fog signal, mounted aft of the light tower gives a blast once every 30 seconds.
Minutes made public from the meeting of the Trinity House Lighthouse Board on 27 Septmber 2018 reveal that the hull of the lightship was showing signifcant signs of age, exhibiting damage described as "beyond that which has been seen before within the fleet", calling into question the long-term feasibility of maintaining lightvessels of this age.