Cape Columbine

Name Cape Columbine
Structure 15 metre square masonry tower
Other Features
Date Installed 1 October 1936
Description Cape Columbine is approximately 2 and 1/2 hours drive from Cape Town situated on the west coast, about 3 km from the quaint fishing village of Paternoster. This is the first lighthouse usually sighted by shipping coming from Europe. It was built in 1936 on the rising ground at Castle Rock, with its light 80 m above sea level and has a range of 32 sea miles. The optical apparatus consists of two lens panels of 500mm focal distance, giving a single white flash of 0,2 seconds duration every 15 seconds. This optic was equipped with a 4kW incandescent lamp with the resultant beam intensity of approximately 9 500 000 candelas.
A 1,5Kw lamp is presently used, with a resultant beam of 5 040 000 Candelas. The power plant installed in 1936 consisted of three 47 horse power single cylinder horizontal diesel generator sets each giving an output of 27kW. This plant was replaced in 1971 by a 3 phase AC supply.
Cape Columbine owes its name to the barque Columbine which came to grief here in 1829. Paternoster got its name from the survivors of a shipwreck who said the Lords Prayer (Pater Noster) in thanksgiving.
Other ships that were wrecked here include the troop ship St Lawrence and the Portuguese mail steamer Lisboa which ran aground here in 1910.
The opening ceremony was performed at sunset on 1 October 1936 by Mrs H.C. Cooper, wife of the designer and builder Mr H.C. Cooper. He was the Lighthouse Engineer for the Cape Colonial Government and subsequently the first Lighthouse Engineer of the then South African Railways, who controlled and administered all the South African Navigational aids.
The lighthouse is also equipped with a twin diaphone fog signal which was installed on 1 October 1936. The cost of the lighthouse at the time of building was 21 793 Sterling.

Light Type Revolving electric
Light Character One flash every 15 seconds
Light Range 32 sea miles
Light Power 5 040 000 CD
Height of focal Plane 80 metres above high water

Position 32 48 39 South, 17 51 23 East