|Structure||28 metre circular iron tower painted white with red bands|
|Date Installed||15 April 1893|
|Description||Situated 55km from Cape Town's Table Bay is arguably one of the most isolated and bleakest manned lighthouses, Dassen Island lighthouse. This barren outcrop of rock and sand is a mere 220 hectares and was first visited and noted by European seafarers in the early 1600s.
Established on the island in 1893, the lighthouse itself is an impressive cast iron structure that stands some 28 metres tall and is manned (since its existence) by a single senior lightkeeper. Due to the islands submerged reefs, kelp beds and icy blue Atlantic ocean which produces a thick rolling fog, the lighthouse is one of the principle beacons on the Cape shipping route and has to be manned at all times. In fact in the past, so many vessels had been wrecked in the area, that tortoises and rabbits were released onto the island to provide food for any shipwreck survivors. And this is how the island derived its name - from the numerous "rock" rabbits or Dassies, as they are more commonly known who inhabit the island.
The island is also home to numerous bird species such as the endangered African penguins, who flock to the island in their thousands every year to breed on the rocky sands, and the rare White pelican. Every six weeks the lightkeeper and his family are visited by helicopter, bringing much needed provisions and technicians and then they are flown back to Cape Town for a taste of civilisation and a well deserved four day shopping spree.
Cost of original installation: £14 836-0-2
|Light Character||Two flashes every thirty seconds|
|Light Range||24 sea miles|
|Light Power||1 400 000 CD|
|Height of focal Plane||47 metres above high water|
|Position||33 25 54 South, 18 05 22 East|