Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020
News Every Day |

Lighting up Roman Rock for 159 years

Cape Town - The Roman Rock Lighthouse in False Bay celebrates 159 years of service this Heritage Month.

The lighthouse - the fifth-oldest in South Africa, and the only one that has been erected on a rock that is awash almost continuously at high water - was first lit on the night of September 16, 1861, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) said.

This year, TNPA commemorates 20 years of existence and its journey to maritime transformation, coinciding with Heritage Month, and highlighting the long-time service of the False Bay lighthouse.

The 14m circular cast-iron tower of the landmark is painted white with a white lantern house. The optic produces one flash every 6 seconds with a range of 20 nautical miles and is powered by a solar photovoltaic system.

Roman Rock Lighthouse is made of cast-iron segments bolted together, and a deep circular trench had to be cut in the rock for the foundation.

The lighthouse is made of cast-iron segments bolted together, and a deep circular trench had to be cut in the rock for the foundation. It took four years to complete the installation, as only 962 hours could be spent on the rock due to the rough seas, bad weather and the fact that the rock is accessible only at low tide in calm water.

“The original optic consisted of eight single-wick burners set in silvered metallic reflectors, which provided a white flash that was visible for 12 miles (about 20km). It was rotated by a weight-driven machine, which was manually operated. Two men were on duty at a time, with a relief crew ashore,” TNPA said in a statement.

It took four years to complete the installation of the Roman Rock Lighthouse foundation as only 962 hours could be spent on the rock due to the rough seas.

“Crews were changed every week, weather permitting, and were required to take with them oil to power the light, as well as food and water for cooking and hygiene requirements.”

Transport between the shore and the lighthouse was by means of a small row boat, and later by motor boat.

Helicopters were introduced in the 1960s and the protruding gangway was used as a platform on to which the visiting technical personnel and equipment were lowered.

The lighthouse became fully automatic on March 25, 1919, with the installation of an acetylene gas apparatus that was controlled by a sun valve. The gas accumulators were replenished every six months, and a staff presence was no longer required at the lighthouse.

“A decision was taken to electrify the light, to increase its intensity to make it more visible against the growing background illumination. A wind-driven generator was initially proposed, but was abandoned due to serious mechanical damage discovered during a trial at nearby Cape Point Lighthouse.

Transport between the shore and the Roman Rock Lighthouse was by means of a small row boat, and later by motor boat.

“The alternative was to obtain electric power from the local municipality by means of a submarine cable, with a small diesel generator to provide emergency supply if the cable was damaged. The improved light, together with a new lantern house with a glass reinforced plastic design, was commissioned on March5, 1992,” TNPA said.

The submarine cable was damaged more than once, and the protruding gangway at the lighthouse had corroded to such an extent that it became a safety hazard.

In 1994, a helipad was installed on top of a freestanding stainless steel tower on a separate protruding rock, and solar power replaced the mains supply.

The solar modules were mounted on the 13m walkway linking the lighthouse and the helipad.

“This unique lighthouse is one of 45 operational lighthouses along the coast of South Africa, from Port Nolloth on the West Coast to Sodwana Bay on the East Coast.

“TNPA, through its Lighthouse and Navigational Systems business unit, is mandated to provide, operate and maintain lighthouses and other marine aids to navigation along South Africa’s coastline,” TNPA said.

Cape Times

Read also

9 Tricks for the Best-Ever Cup of Coffee

Cardi B ‘WAP’ Footwear Could Be in the Works

I'm a Doctor and Here's How Not to Get Sick This Fall

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here