A RECENT TV NEWS PROGRAMME included a feature on the above subject, as apparently yet more lighthouses are due for the proverbial ‘chop’. The reasons given were solely the growth and efficiency of sat-nav equipment, which we all know to be quite common nowadays.
A wonderful facility. However, I seriously question these intended shut-downs as a matter of maritime safety, and primarily because we all know that many coasters, yachts and other traffic may not be so well equipped. Even existing and well installed sat-nav systems could be out of order.
The common use of sat-nav is accepted as being a wonderful advance towards safer and more accurate navigation, but it does not sound a fog signal during poor visibility, nor does it transmit RDF signals for those who may need them. Both the sight and sounds of an old fashioned lighthouse are a simply great aid and a very comforting feature for any mariner, even if they are unmanned and automatically operated.
The cost of lights and such facilities were invoiced to ships or agents and I guess all boating enthusiasts enjoyed the facility ‘gratis’. It can be accepted that in worldwide terms, all aids to safe navigation will always be respected and appreciated and I personally hope we will never close down any more of the lighthouses, buoys and navigational aids around our home waters. A false economy? Are we pushing our luck for the sake of a few pennies? Tis food for thought.
CAPTAIN J G FORSTER
51 The Cliff
Wallasey, CH45 2NL
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