Tathong Lighthouse – pre-WW2

Stephen Davies: The pre-WW2 Tathong Light is not where the present light is. That is a new light created out of the gun emplacement that the Japanese built.

The old light was down to the SE, close to where the landing pier is for the Marine Department’s navigation service boat.

It was a 21 foot tall concrete pillar and showed a light with a 12 mile range that was sectoral. The white light shone from the SE round through S to around SW, then there was a narrow red sector of 10 degrees or so that covered Bokhara Rocks (its installation coincided with the removal of the buoy that had marked the rocks and that had proved a trial when typhoons blew in) and the white light then resumed around to c.NNE.

The sector limits make perfect sense in an era of visual navigation. Ships inbound from ENE through SSE would have vectored in on Waglan. In their final approach when they would have opened the first part of Tathong Point’s white sector and in turn then got Cape Collinson open of Tung Lung Island. At that point they would have turned NNW towards Cape Collinson, staying out of Cape Collinson’s red sector (that covered Sheko Rock/Tai Long Pai) and passing briefly through Tathong Point’s red sector on their way up the Tathong Channel.

If they were coming from the W, once clear of Cape D’Aguilar they would have stayed in Tathong Point’s white sector until they had passed clear of Cape Collinson’s red sector into its white sector, when they could have altered NNW for Lei Yue Mun.

This photo shows what remains of the 1921-1941 column:

Tathong Light - remains of the 1921-1941 column Stephen Davies

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. Tathong Lighthouse – during and post-WW2
  2. Lighthouses in Hong Kong pre-1941, images needed
  3. Hong Kong’s Lighthouses and the men who manned them – HKBRAS article

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