Friday, June 27, 2008

The last lighthouse-keeper

It looks as if the struggle is definitively lost: from 2010 on there won't be any keepers more on the Dutch lighthouses. Unmanned lighthouses is the new policy of the Dutch Traffic Department - economization and modernization. Camera's and computers will take over the tasks of the keepers.
Yesterdays' broadcast on (click for the full report - in Dutch) about this item is not an impressive piece of press-work: cheap and suggestive. Nevertheless I agree it's a bad development. The Dutch lighthouse keepers always offered the perfect local coastguard service and are since centuries an essential contribution to safety at sea. I don't believe computerization nor a central traffic-management centre will replace that.
Not only the Seakayakers are going miss the daily contact, the local knowledge and the good advises of the lighthouse keepers ;-) And I don't like the idea how kayak-incidents like this and this would have ended without the local coastguard support of the lighthouse crews!

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