Cape Hatteras Lighthouse beacon is back in business

By on May 30, 2018

The beacon is a pair of rotating, airport-style spotlights that give the appearance of a flash every  7.5 seconds. (NPS)

By Joy Crist

The skies over Hatteras Island became a little darker over Memorial Day weekend, as the light in the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stopped working.

Reports started to trickle in on Sunday that the familiar rotating beacon was off, and efforts are underw ay to assess the problem.

Though the lighthouse is managed by the National Park Service, the light inside is maintained by the Coast Guard, which is responsible for the repairs.

Boone Vandzura, the National Seashore’s Chief Ranger for the Cape Hatteras Group, reported that it was shining again in time for the Tuesday evening full moon tour.

Vandzura says that an electrician mate with the U.S. Coast Guard replaced the daylight control mechanism, which fixed the problem.

“We appreciate the U.S. Coast Guard’s quick response and repair of the iconic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse,” said Vandzura.

This is the second time in 2018 that the lighthouse has had an unexpected break in operations.

In mid-January, the lighthouse was damaged by a series of storms, and replacement parts needed to be created from scratch to get the light up and beaming again.

Because of the intricate parts that were crafted for the complex malfunction, the lighthouse remained off for more than a month.

A similar issue popped up in February of 2016, when the lighthouse became stuck, with its beacon fixed toward the neighborhoods of Buxton.

During the January repairs, the lighthouse was turned off to avoid a constant light shining into homes.

As of Tuesday morning, there was no timeframe for the repairs, and it was unknown whether the issue was related to the January damage.

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  • Bud

    At least it is no longer used as an aid to navigation.

    Wednesday, May 30 @ 12:47 pm