Lighthouses – An Endangered Species

John Konrad
Total Views: 16
July 30, 2008

Photo By Jay Q
Photo By Jay Q

The first documented lighthouse was in Alexandria Egypt, circa 290 BC. And today, lighthouses are an endangered species.

Pharos Lighthouse stood on the eastern point of Pharos Island some distance from the city center of Alexandria. Indeed this lighthouse is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

For sailors, it ensured a safe return to the Great Harbor. It was the tallest building on Earth. And for scientists, it was the mysterious mirror that fascinated them most… The mirror which reflection could be seen more than 50 km (35 miles) off-shore.

Today’s lighthouses are slowly be phased out due to the advent of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and other electronic navigational aids (I could rant here, but won’t;) just as lighthouse keepers gave way to automated lights. In the words of the US Coast Guard some lighthouses are, “No longer critical for safe navigation.” I’m waiting for the day the Coast Guard issues all mariners a chart plotter, because they are less expensive than maintaining aids to navigation.

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This post was written by Richard Rodriguez, Rescue Tug Captain, and US Coast Guard approved instructor for License Training. You can read more of his articles at the BitterEnd of the net.

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