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Cave Point

Admiralty Reference # decommissioned
1976 - 1994

This unmanned light was built as a replacement for the Eclipse Island Lighthouse following the tragic crane accident there in which MV Cape Don electrician crew member Ralph Meakins was killed. It is Ralph's slides that I was generously loaned to scan and use on many of my WA Lighthouses webpage.

Aerial photo from Winsome Bonhams collection

 

The Cave Point tower was built by Albany contractor Peter Cooper and the light was powered by State electricity. The cylindrical 12m high concrete tower still remains, however the light itself was decommissioned when it was realised that the original Eclipse Island tower obscured its light at a critical point of its arc. As a result, the Eclipse Island Light was relit, though this time without its beautiful lantern room and magnificent lens.

 

The Tower retains its importance today as it is the site of a satellite ground receiver station as part of the International Satellite-aided Search and Rescue System that detects emergency beacon activated distress signals or automatic detection when a vessel sinks or a plane crashes. The Cospas-Sarsat system is managed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Located in Torndirrup National Park on the point of the peninsular in King George Sound about 15 km south of Albany. The lighthouse is accessible by road and then a short hike. The views of the coast as well as the Lighthouse make it well worth the walk. Be sure to look for the dome of the Satellite system in place of a normal lantern room and lens or tupperware light.

 

Photo by Sugarbag on panoramio

 

The original sign barely legible in 2006, has details about the lighthouse. Another sign still there today tells all about the Cospas-Sarsat system.

References

Cumming et al: Lighthouses on the Western Australian coast and off-shore islands, 1995

Austin, Stan; Lighthouses of Albany; Publ: WA Museum Albany, 2004