New Zealand: Kaikoura earthquake: All lighthouses and maritime radio functioning well

Friday, 18 November 2016


Maritime NZ has confirmed that all six lighthouses and the maritime radio network on the earthquake affected areas of the North and South Island coasts are functioning normally.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said the lighthouses are monitored remotely, and all continued to work during the earthquake on Monday morning (November 14) and through all the aftershocks. Four lost mains power but automatically switched to batteries. All are back on mains power.

Maritime NZ also provides a 24/7 maritime radio service, including continuous monitoring of the marine distress channel 16. The network continued to function throughout the earthquakes and the following storm that hit the centre of the country.

Most lighthouses have now been visited by staff and all will have been by early next week.

“It has been fantastic to see messages of thanks from seafarers and recreational boaties who have seen the lights continuing to shine,” Mr Manch said.

One sailing club posted about Cape Campbell lighthouse at Seddon: “We have watched this lighthouse for hours and hours guiding us through the night. So pleased it is ok.”

Mr Manch said lighthouses are still a key part of international maritime safety networks but that is not all they are.

“They are a striking part of our country’s rich, maritime history. People love them, not just because they are aids to navigation, but also as a link to the past, and a strong symbol of safety at night and times of danger.

 “We take seriously our responsibility to maintain them and will continue to do all we can to keep them working in all conditions.”

Summary of lighthouses

·         Point Gibson (Cheviot), switched to batteries, back on mains, site still to be visually inspected

·         Point Kean (Kaikoura), switched to batteries, back on mains, visually checked

·         Cape Campbell (Seddon), switched to batteries, back on mains, site still be visually inspected

·         Baring Head, Wellington, switched to batteries, back on mains, checked, no damage

·         Cape Palliser, Wairarapa, continued on mains power, checked, no damage

·         Castle Point, Wairarapa, continued on mains power, checked, no damage

More information about lighthouses of New Zealand http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/public/history/lighthouses/

Photos of lighthouses are available by emailing media@maritimenz.govt. or calling 04 49091713.

Maritime New Zealand Media Line: +64 4 499 7318

News presented by Cathy McLean

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Last Updated ( Friday, 18 November 2016 )