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Lowestoft & Southwold Lighthouses get Reprieve

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Lighthouse wins reprieve as sat nav for ships not reliable enough

A lighthouse has received a reprieve from closure because satellite navigation technology is not “reliable enough†to replace it.

Southwold Lighthouse, which has protected seafarers from coming to harm on nearby sandbanks since 1887, was on a list of 11 that authority Trinity House had earmarked for closure by 2010.

But it and Lowestoft Lighthouse, further north on the East Anglian coast, have now been spared the prospect of closure.

A 2005 Trinity House report suggested 11 of 69 remaining lighthouses in England and Wales could be closed if global positioning system (GPS) technology and radio navigation back-up were good enough. Most sailors now routinely used such navigation aids.

But Duncan Glass, Trinity House’s director of navigational requirements, has said that the two lighthouses cannot not be replaced by technology - yet.

He said: “At the moment, GPS is not considered robust or available enough and, while there is a system we hope will be a radio back-up in the future, that is some years away. And, of course, mariners don’t have to carry anything they don’t want to.â€

He added: “Having tested ourselves on what it takes to replace visual aid navigation with GPS and radio navigation, we are a long, long way from that.â€

Southwold Lighthouse has featured in a range of artistic posters by the Suffolk beer company Adnams, which has just bought out a new beer named after the landmark.

It is one emblem of the popular coastal town, where Gordon Brown chose to holiday last summer.

Andy Wood, managing director of Adnams, welcomed the reprieve as “fantastic newsâ€.

He said: “The Adnams brewery was established in 1872 and the lighthouse came along just a few years later, the two buildings are part and parcel of what Southwold is about.â€

Southwold Lighthouse emits a red light visible for 15 nautical miles, that serves as a warning of sandbanks both north and south of the town.

Lowestoft lighthouse was established in 1609 but has undergone several rebuilds, most recently in 1874. Its beam range is 23 nautical miles.

Trinity House has yet to consult on the future of the other nine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... nough.html

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Sat Nav (GPS and DGPS) is a brilliant aid to navigation.

But it is just that an AID and no more.

Never doubted that is what you would mean Rod.

It is good but always handy with a chart back up to be able to see the light (at night) as a confirmation of your chart position. I know there are lit buoys but on a grim night you it is more difficult to miss a dirty great light light. :naughty:

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Seriously, it's an important if not vital nav aid, but just like the pagodas it seems to just sit there and not move making you think you are making slow or no existant progress. If you take regular transits on it it is clear that you are moving but the general perception of a snails pace despite what all other info says is an irritant. At least, unlike Rod I've never actually had the thing overtake me so I am thankful for that. :grin:

Has anybody checked to see if it's on rails? :naughty:

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but just like the pagodas it seems to just sit there and not move

Its Sizewell for me.

Start seeing it from just out of Lowestoft (or so it seems) and does not disappear until you are almost at the Orwell.

The House in the Clouds however is always a welcome sight.



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