How Many Countries in the World Have MANNED Lighthouses?

How Many Countries in the World Have MANNED Lighthouses?



I am often asked how many countries in the world still have manned lighthouses, and how many.

Do you know?

There is one minor problem – How Many Countries Are There? Watch this short Youtube video to find out . . . or not!

I am asking for help in finding out which countries actually do have people on the lighthouses, performing the duties of a lighthouse keeper.

If you live in a country that maintains people on the lighthouses as lighthouse keepers, or have visited a country that does, please let me know in the comments box below, or contact me. I would like a webpage link or reference if you have one, and maybe, if you know it, how many manned lighthouses there are.

I will post and maintain a list of worldwide manned lighthouses by country.

Appreciate any help I can get, and yes, I know Canada has a few!


Africa (?)

Democratic Republic of the Congo(1) http://www.labaleine.co.za/things_to_do.html

British Virgin Islands (1 +?) http://www.cyberdiver.net/cuan_law.html

Canada  (50) http://www.ohscanada.com/news/manned-lighthouses-reviewed/1000347338/ Canada’s “staffed lighthouses across the country now number only 50: 23 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 27 in British Columbia.”

Between 1970 and 1996, 264 [Canadian] lighthouses were automated, . . . http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0001271

Unmanned Cabot Head Lighthouse; Update http://www.guelphmercury.com/opinion-story/4179091-lighting-the-future-with-the-past/

Central America (?)

Bahamas (1 +?) http://go-abacos.com/news/whatson/whatson_lighth.html


Belize (1 +?) http://www.belizeislandrealestate.com/thingstodo.htm

Mexico (1 +?) http://turtleislands.net/tmc/8.html

Puerto Rico (?)

China (?)

Denmark (?)

gásadalur village in the faroe islandsMap_of_the_Faroe_Islands_en.svgFaroe Islands – Gásadalur village on the island of Vágar in the Faroe Islands. One of two lighthouses on the island is located SE of the village on the entrance to the Sørvágsfjørd, which leads to the fishing port of Sørvágur on the southwest coast of Vágar. Located on a bluff on the south side of the fjord about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Sørvágur.

England (0??)

Unmanned – Bishop Rock, 4 miles west of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall.

France (0?) 

Unmanned – Triagoz lighthouse is a lighthouse in Côtes-d’Armor, France, located on the Guen-Arms rock of the Triagoz archipelago. The lighthouse is closed to the public.

Guyana (0???)

UnmannedGeorgetown lighthouse, Georgetown, Guyana

Iceland (1) http://ambassadorblogiceland.blogspot.com/2011/07/westman-islands_22.html

India (0?)

Unmanned Chennai Lighthouse http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-lighthouse-will-be-open-to-public-from-november-14/article5278759.ece

Unmanned  Mahabilipuram Lighthouse http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-lighthouse-will-be-open-to-public-from-november-14/article5278759.ece

October 21, 2012 –  Visakhapatnam Harbour – refurbished, unmanned 

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VISAKHAPATNAM, October 31, 2012


Iconic beacon of harbour set to be restored


The HinduA view of the lighthouse that is all set to be restored. Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam

Mumbai’s restoration architect to oversee the project

The iconic beacon of the Visakhapatnam harbour, which went dark in the 1960s, is all set to be restored and revived.

The 59-ft round tower with gallery and lantern, which was a transit line lighthouse directing ships into the harbour channel, went out of service in 1962. The Visakhapatnam Port Trust had the structure plastered and doors and windows installed to protect it.

With the Ore Conveyor Belt and the new slum clearance project buildings coming up in the neighbourhood, it became a garbage yard, and the lighthouse that was visible 12 nautical miles into the sea on a clear day went into disrepair. Unwilling to see the beacon of hope for seafarers go to seed, Chief Operating Officer of Visakha Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd. Capt. Sriram Ravi Chander persuaded VPT Chairman Ajeya Kallam to hand it over to them to have it restored and revived.

With the support of the Chairman of VCTPL and Chairman of JM Bakshi Group of Companies Krishna Bhai Kotak, an ardent restorationist, the VCTPL appointed Mumbai’s restoration architect Vikas Dilawari to oversee the project.

The lantern of the gas-fired lighthouse with white dioptre light of the fourth order that flashed every 20 seconds was originally set up in Santilly (Chintapalli) in 1847 to mark the dangerous rocks there. The reefs off Santilly were one of the most dreaded on the eastern seaboard.

In 1902, the authorities decided to set up a more powerful lighthouse there and shifted the lantern to its present location, Capt. Ravi Chander said.

“In the first phase, the plaster is being removed and the inside staircase and platform for the light being repaired. The restoration work would recommence once the rainy season is over,” he added.

Upon becoming fully functional, it would be restored to its original glory as the icon of the Visakhapatnam harbour and the city, the master Mariner said.


Ireland (0)

Unmanned Lighthouse Island

Italy (62) http://www.worldcrunch.com/twilight-italys-lighthouse-keepers/3598

Japan (1+)


Sakai City (unmanned)


Korea (3 +?) http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=114093&code=Ne2&category=2

Malaysia (1 unmanned; +?)

Kuala Kedah, Kedah, Malaysia 


Suviving the aggressions 

 2012-11-27 18:36
European style red castle and a century old white lighthouse near the port of Kuala Kedah. Photo courtesy: Guang Ming Daily

Translated by WINNIE CHOOI
Guang Ming Daily

KUALA KEDAH — Richly endowed with breathtaking sea views, the one and only unique “Kota Kuala Kedah” has been preserved to this day.

Having remained most of the war traces, the harbour is a tourist spot of monuments and is a place boasting yummy local delicacies such as seafood and laksa.

45ft tall white lighthouse

Kuala Kedah has been in existence for more than a century now. It had a fortress and was the site of a prosperous Malay sultanate. The ancient sultanate was located within the high walls built next to the estuary of Kedah River. The walled city consisted of a palace, cannon forts, military installations as well as an administrative centre.

The port of Kuala Kedah is located 12km or 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre of Alor Setar.

Arriving at the port, you will be greeted by a 45-foot tall white lighthouse sitting on an ancient fortress after passing through clusters of Malay village houses.

The journey to Kota Kuala Kedah would take you past Jambatan Tok Pasai across the Kedah River and a winding path.

The wars

Despite the ruined buildings from the wars, tourism authorities are keen to develop Kota Kuala Kedah into a tourist destination. Signs have been put up in Chinese, Malay, English and Japanese languages to help tourists get a better understanding of the local history.

According to the statement engraved on the monument, the fortress was erected between 1602 and 1620 by Sultan Sulaiman Shah with the assistance from the Portuguese. Due to its enviable geographical location, the walled city became a frequent target of foreign aggressors.

The fort was first destroyed by the Acheness in 1619, and the Portuguese were forced to retreat. The fort was again assaulted by the Bugis in 1770.

In 1780, the Sultan spent two years rebuilding the fortress and a new palace was added. The cannons stationed outside the fortress were acquired from the United Kingdom and Netherlands.

In early 19th century, the fortress was the seat of administration of the sultanate until 1821 when it once again became the target of Siamese invaders and suffered massive damages. During the WWII, the fortress was occupied by the Japanese.

Cultural legacy

On August 31, 1978, the fortress was gazetted as a historical monument by the state government.

Kota Kuala Kedah is opened daily from 9am to 5pm except the first day of Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji. Admission is free.

There is also a white stilt-house museum in the vicinity carrying records of the invasions from the Portuguese, Bugis, Siamese, Japanese and the British.

Taking a speedboat from Kuala Kedah to Langkawi, you will notice a European style red castle on the opposite side. This magnificent castle is located near the site of Kota Kuala Kedah and was built by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. The government initially planned to build a yacht club but the plan was later dropped due to some technical problems. The site is now the Kuala Kedah office of the Malaysian Marine Department.

The Western-style castle is not open to the public. However, many photography buffs have been lured here to take pictures of the building, especially in the evenings or on public holidays. It is also a popular destination for shooting of wedding photos.

During the windy season, children living in the village nearby would throng here to fly kites.

Apart from exploring the ancient fort at Kuala Kedah, tourists can also visit the fish market for freshly caught seafood.

Fishermen would return to the harbour with their catch before dawn at 5am every morning and the fish market will be a hive of activity by 8am.

90% boat owners Chinese

Some experts or tourists would also join in the procurement process occasionally. The fish market also acts as a retail outlet where customers can purchase fresh seafood at wholesale prices.

Kuala Kedah seafood is not only marketed locally but is also sold to large markets, hypermarkets and supermarkets in KL and Penang. Some is exported to neighbouring Thailand to be processed into canned products.

Kedah Fisheries Ship Owner Association Chairman Cho Shuang Cai said there are over 300 fishing boats stationed at Kuala Kedah, 90% of which owned by the Chinese.

Thick laksa noodle

Laksa stalls are found all over Kuala Kedah. Be it at Chinese or Malay hawker centres or roadside stalls, laksa has become a famous local delicacy.

Other than the normal laksa noodle, you will also come across a kind of thick noodle called laksam, which is made of rice flour and cut into slices, not unlike the Hakka Pan Mee we are so familiar with but tasting completely different.

Other than the normal sour and spicy taste, the laksam soup is also garnished with coconut milk to give it a thicker flavour.



New Zealand (0, since 1990) http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/Commercial/Shipping-safety/Aids-to-navigation/Lighthouse-frequently-asked-questions.asp

Norway (1 +?) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouses_in_Norway

Philippines (1 +?)

Scotland (0, in March 1998) 

South America (?) http://www.nlb.org.uk/historical/lightkeepers.htm

Portugal (?) 

ViajeTierraSanta-Portugal-Cascais1Unmanned (?) – Santa Marta Lighthouse and Museum, Cascals, Spain





Taiwan (1 manned, but 34 lighthouses in total – June 07, 2012) http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2012/06/07/343592/12-lighthouses.htm

Tasmania (1 +?) http://www.tasmaniawildernessfishing.com.au/location.htm


UK (England, Wales and other British territorial waters (with the exception of Scotland, the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland) (0, since November 1998) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_House

USA (1) http://www.us-lighthouses.com/faq.php “There is one last manned lighthouse in the US, that happens to be the very first lighthouse ever built on US soil. It is that of the Boston Light on Little Brewster Island.”

Unmanned  Angels Gate Lighthouse, Los Angeles Harbour, California Wiki


Unmanned Ke Ga Lighthouse near the village of  Phan Thiet

Wales (0)

For a complete listing up to August 2010 compiled by relief BC lighthouse keeper and guest writer on this site Justine Etzkorn, see her blog Lighthouse Ghost.

Also check out the Wikipedia article by the well-known author Brian Katcher.


Here is a list from a friend of mine Justine Etzkorn. She writes the blog Lighthouse Ghost. She says, and I am hoping she will update it later:

One Hundred and Eleven Staffed Lightstations that Are Not in Canada
(That I’ve heard of, as of August 2010.)

Antarctica: ( 4 stations) 
♦Arctowski—visited a lot by Antarctic cruises 
♦Ile Tromelin—has a staffed weather station 
♦Esperanza—guides ships going around the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, includes several families. 

Argentina: ( 11 stations) 
♦Cabo Blanco—has several communications towers 
♦Cabo San Antonio 
♦Punta Delgada 
♦Punta Medanos—Easternmost point of Argentina, dangerous coast, noted for shipwrecks 
♦Querandi Punta Mogotes—prominent headland where for Southbound vessels the trend of the coast shifts from SW to W. 
♦Recalada a Bahia Blanca 
♦El Rincon 
♦Rio Negro 
♦Segunda Bananca 

Australia: ( 3 stations) 
♦Gabo Island—has a resident caretaker 
♦Point Hicks—has a resident caretaker 
♦Wilson’s Promontory—resident caretaker maintains station 

Belize: (2 stations) 
♦Bugle Caye 

Brazil: ( 5 stations) 
♦Abrolhos—staffed by Navy, provides housing for park rangers and visiting researchers 
♦Cabo Frio—steep bluff at the point of the cape 
♦Ilha da Moela—staffed Naval station, has communications facilities and a weather station 
♦Ilha Trindade—kept to assert Brazilian sovereignty, Navy keeps permanent base, staffed by rotating crews of 30-35. 
♦Preguicas—on the border of Maranhao and Piaui states 

Bulgaria: (1 station) 
♦Shabla—Easternmost point of Bulgaria 

Chile: (16 stations) 
♦Bahia Felix 
♦Cabo Carranza—at the mouth of the Rio Loanco, North of the tip of the cape 
♦Cabo Espiritu Santo 
♦Cabo Raper 
♦Cape Horn: staffed by rotating crews of the Chilean Navy 
♦Evangelistas—has a telecommunications station and weather station 
♦Faro Isla Guafo—staffed with 4 ‘marinos’ from the Chilean Navy, rotate the crews every 4 months, fair amount of shipping in the gulf so the island is a danger to navigation. 
♦Isla Guafo 
♦Isla Quiriquina—at the summit of the island 
♦Islote Fairway 
♦Limitrofe—on the Peruvian border 
♦Punta Angeles—on a rocky headland at the Western entrance to the Bahia de Val Paraiso 
♦Punta Corona 
♦Punta Dungeness—has a signal station 
♦Punta Panul—atop a steep bluff 
♦Punta Gualpen—on the toe of a prominent cape 

China: (1 station) 
♦Dagu—staffed by rotating crews of 2 keepers, landfall light for Tanggu 

Croatia: ( 7 stations) 
♦Blitvenica—automated in 2002, decided to return staff for security and maintenance. 
♦Dugiotok– marking the start of the twisting channel around the end of the island. 
♦Otocic Babac 
♦Palagruza—staffed weather station, highest point of the isolated island. 
♦Rt Razanj—on the Southwestern tip of Otok Brac, guarding the narrow passage between the islands of Brac and Solta. 
♦Savudrija—Western most part of Croatia 
♦Sestrice—staffed weather station, located on a small island off the Southeastern end of 

Cuba: (4 stations) 
♦Cayo Jutias—keeper for a museum and tours 
♦Cayo Piedras del Norte—staffed by military 
♦Punta Maya (2)–staffed by military 
♦Rio Yaguanabo—keepers for a maritime museum and tours 

Egypt: ( 2 stations) 
♦Abu el-Kizai—staffed by the Navy 
♦Akhaween—staffed by the Navy, long rocky island in the middle of the Red Sea. 

Estonia: ( 1 station) 
♦Vaindloo—station is staffed as an assertion of Estonian sovereignty, also visited by birders and researchers.

France: (7 stations) Pen-Men—located in nature reserve 
♦Contis—keeper developed a small museum and offers guided tours 
♦Goulphar—control point for many lighthouses on the South side of Brittany, also serves as an accommodation for pilots. 
♦Iles Chausey—automated but is staffed as a control centre for navigation in the bay. 
♦Rosedo—has a resident caretaker 
♦Pointe Saint-Martin

Iceland: (2 stations) 
♦Dalatangi—staffed Coast Guard station and communications towers 

India: (3 stations) 
♦Jaigarh—keepers still wind the clockwork rotating mechanism by hand 
♦Minicoy–in Lakshadweep 
♦Prongs Reef—offshore lightstation, marks the entrance to Mumbai Harbour, one of the few offshore lightstations in the world still staffed. 

Indonesia: (3 stations) 
♦Pulau Damar Besar—staffed with a crew of 5 
♦Pulau Kepala—staffed by 3 keepers 
♦Tanjung Layar—staff rotate every 4 months, on the SW tip of Java, marking the East side of the entrance to the Sunda Strait from the Indian Ocean. 

Italy: (1 station) 
♦Capo Caccia—atop a vertical cliff at the extreme Southern tip of Sardinia 

Jamaica: (1 station) 
♦Morant Point

Japan: (2 stations) 
♦Erimo Misaki—though automated in 1964 still staffed 
♦Shioya Saki—has a communications station, run by Coast Guard 

Malaysia: (2 stations) 
♦Muka Head—landfall light for Penang for ships arriving from the Indian ocean.
♦Tanjung Tuan—carries radar to monitor ship traffic in the narrow strait of Malacca. Malaysia’s most important lighthouse, it stands at the end of a prominent ridge, forested ridge one of the country’s most important forest and wildlife reserves. 

Mexico: ( 5 stations) 
♦Arrecife Triangulo 
♦Isla Creston 
♦Isla de la Roqueta—naval 
♦Isla Perez 
♦Puerto Arista—Navy post for drug smuggling 

Oman: (1 station) 
♦Didamar—with Omani forces to keep watch as 25% of world oil passes by it 

Pakistan: (1 station) 
♦Ras Muari—lighthouse still operated manually 

The Philippines: ( 1 station) 
♦Cabo Bojeador—also gives tours

Poland: ( 2 stations) 
♦Krynico Morska—located on Wislana peninsula, a very long barrier spit that extends along the Southeastern edge of the Gulf of Gdansk. The Eastern end of the peninsula lies across the Russian frontier 

Portugal: ( 5 stations) 
♦Cabo Espichel—rotating crew of 3 keepers, serves as a landfall light for Lisbon, long considered one of the more important lightstations in the country. 
♦Cabo da Roca—staffed by 3 keepers, Westernmost point of the Eurasian continent 
♦Cabo de Sao Vicente—one of the world’s great lighthouses, “land’s end” of Europe, the extreme Southwestern point of the continent, the essential landfall for sailors returning from Africa or Asia.
♦Forte do Cavalo—resident caretaker 
♦Guia—staffed with members of the lighthouse department, for arriving ships, serves as a landfall light for Lisbon and for departing ships it is the rear light that indicates the proper course through the bar of the Tagus. 

Russia: (1 station) 
♦Mys Set-Navolok 

South Africa: (2 stations) 
♦Cape St. Blaize—staffed with a crew of 3, operates radio communications center and makes weather observations. 
♦Dassen Island—permanently staffed, NNE tip of Table Bay, major threat to ships arriving in Cape Town. 

South Korea: (1 station) 
♦Ganjeolgot—has a fog horn, has a museum 

Sudan: ( 1station) 
♦Sanganeb Reef—very dangerous reef in the Red Sea, established by Britain to protect shipping between Europe and Asia, permanently staffed by the Sudanese military as an assertion of Sudanese sovereignty over the reefs. 

Sweden: (1 station) 
♦Kullen—although light is automated the station continues to be staffed, surrounding area is a nature reserve. 

Taiwan: (1 station) 
♦Pengjiayu—has a weather station and small army detachment that maintains Taiwan’s sovereignty, also has housing for visiting scientists. 

The United States of America: (1 station) (this figure is very misleading as many of the US stations had “light keepers” removed only to be replaced with regular Coast Guard personnel)

Uruguay: ( 9 stations) 
♦Cabo Polonio 
♦Cabo Santa Maria (La Paloma) 
♦El Cerro de Montevideo 
♦Colonia del Sacramento 
♦Isla de Flores 
♦Isla de Lobos 
♦Punta del Este 
♦Punta Jose Ignacio 
♦Punta Brava 

Venezuela: (1 station) 
♦Isla de Aves—rotating naval crews and visiting scientists



October 01, 2012Lighthouse Renovation

RENOVATION and maintenance works for three lighthouses in Vanua Levu are expected to be completed at the end of this month, says divisional engineer works northern Isikeli Raratabu.

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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