Sark Lighthouse re-engineering completed

Trinity House upgrades Channel Islands lighthouse

Trinity House has completed the re-engineering of Sark Lighthouse in the Channel Islands, upgrading the station systems and modernising the main light in line with new navigational requirements.

Two LED lanterns with a range of 18 nautical miles replace the rotating optic to ensure long and efficient service. The station’s electronics have been upgraded to the Trinity House standard, the design of which requires fewer parts for ease of maintenance.

The old optic—which weighs in at about two tons—was removed along with the hazardous mercury bath on which the optic rotated.

The station has now been fully commissioned and went live during December 2017. A month-long ‘soak test’ period allows the team to monitor the aid to navigation closely to ensure error-free performance before the station is handed back to the care of the South Coast Field Operations team.

Sark Lighthouse was built by Trinity House in 1913 to guide vessels passing through the Channel Islands away from the pinnacle of Blanchard Rock. Sark is an island in the Channel Islands in the southwestern English Channel; it is a royal fief with its own set of laws based on Norman law and its own parliament, making it an unusual place for Trinity House to work.

Trinity House Programme Manager Steve Keddie said:

“The lighthouse is fully operational at present and is being monitored from Harwich through its soak test period. The station will then be de-manned and handed back to the Field Operations team where we will get a further 20 years of reliable operation, enhancing safety for mariners in the area.”

Government of Sark Conseiller Jane Norwich said:

“I just wanted to say congratulations on a job well done. It has been great working with the entire team over the months. I have had lots of comments on the totally professional approach to the project and that includes the team on the ground visiting and working at Point Robert. We all are grateful for the work Trinity House do to keep us all safe at sea and the works to upgrade Point Robert are part of that. So, on behalf of Sark, a big thank you.”

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The view of Sark Lighthouse from the cliff path

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Transferring supplies from THV Galatea to Sark Lighthouse via helicopter

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The new LED lamps in the lantern


Trinity House

Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community with a statutory duty as a General Lighthouse Authority to deliver a reliable, efficient and cost-effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners.

The Corporation of Trinity House was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1514 to regulate pilotage on the River Thames and provide for aged mariners.

With a mandate that has expanded considerably since then, it is today the UK’s largest-endowed maritime charity, the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and a fraternity of men and women selected from across the nation’s maritime sector.

Its long-standing familiarity with the channels, hazards, currents and markings of the coastline also qualify it to inspect and audit almost 11,000 local aids to navigation, license Deep Sea Pilots and provide Elder Brethren as Nautical Assessors to the Admiralty Court.

Per annum the charity donates around £4m to the charities it supports; these include the provision of cadet training schemes, welfare provision for retired mariners and educational programmes teaching safety at sea skills.

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Neil Jones, Public Relations and Records Manager
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