Vandalism causes temporary closure of important navigational aid for mariners

From Port of Jersey,
19 September 2018

For the second time in as many weeks, Sorel Lighthouse on the Island's North Coast has been the target of vandalism. As a result, Ports of Jersey has been forced to temporarily take it out of service while they attempt to make repairs to the iconic structure, which is one of the Island's most important navigational aids to mariners sailing along the treacherous northern coast and extends up to a 15 nautical mile range. 


The first spate of vandalism to the lighthouse, which was built in 1938, was discovered on Sunday 09 September 2018, having had one of the external panes smashed. This was repaired by Ports of Jersey's Engineering team and the lighthouse remained operational.


The second case of vandalism was reported on Monday 17 September when the majority of the external glass panes had been damaged, including one of the internal red glass filters, which form part of important sectors of the light with the specific purpose of warning mariners of the dangers of the Paternosters Reef to the west of the Island and Les Dirouelles and Echrehou Reefs to the east. Due to the extent of the damage, the windows have had to be boarded up until replacement glass and a new red filter can be sourced.


Commenting on the two incidents, Jersey's Harbour Master, Captain Bill Sadler, says, "We have to ask ourselves the question, why would someone wilfully target such an important navigational aid in such a malicious manner? Aside from the obvious costs to replace and repair the structure I can't understand why someone would wish to put mariners lives in danger in such a manner. The longer this facility is out of service means an even greater risk posed, especially as we are approaching the winter months when the seas around this area are renowned for being dangerous. I would urge anyone who has any information on these two incidents to contact Jersey Coastguard or report it to  the States of Jersey Police"


A navigational warning to mariners that the lighthouse is temporarily out of service has been issued by Ports of Jersey.


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Jersey Harbours