Set in 1955, the film takes place almost exclusively aboard a US Coast Guard lightship, an anchored vessel that functions in much the same way as a lighthouse, keeping other ships from crashing into the rocky Virginia shore. The lightship is captained by Brandauer, a German-born American
citizen who is haunted by his naval past. During WWII, while commanding a destroyer, Miller chose to go after an enemy U-boat rather than pick up victims from the sea. He was court-martialed, but although acquitted is tormented by his conscience. Living on the lightship with his delinquent teenage
son Lyndon and a small crew, Miller spots a stranded speedboat. He brings the boaters...