WHAT'S ON

Cape lighthouses set to go live this weekend

Shining a light: August 22 and 23 marks International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend around the world. Photo: Tim Campbell
Shining a light: August 22 and 23 marks International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend around the world. Photo: Tim Campbell

This weekend marks International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend (ILLW) around the world, and once again a team of radio enthusiasts will be setting up an amateur radio station at Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse's Paul Sofilas said lighthouses had played a role in safe navigation for shipping since ancient times.

"Today, with shipping at all time levels due to international trade by sea, they still play an important role as a back up to GPS," he said.

"Cape Leeuwin guards a busy shipping route, and being a hazardous coastline, it plays an important role in maritime safety.

"The lighthouse has a system installed that enables the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to track the movement of all vessels that pass within 300 kilometres of the Cape."

As part of ILLW, each year amateur radio enthusiasts across Australia and around the world set up radio stations at lighthouses and aim to communicate with each other.

Spokesperson Kim Lyon said members of the public were welcome to visit the station and find out more about ILLW and amateur radio.

"In the current era of modern navigation and communications technology, ILLW takes place annually to highlight the historic significance of lighthouses and lightships for the safety of marine transport and communications.

"This will be the fourteenth year that Cape Leeuwin will be on air for ILLW, operating under the callsign VK6CLL, and the support of lighthouse staff in making this possible is appreciated.

"In past years the station has communicated with lighthouses all across Australia, NZ, Asia, Europe and beyond, and similar results are hoped for this year."

Stations will also be on air from Cape Naturaliste in the region's north, operating under the callsign VK6CNL.

"Visitors are welcome to come past and have a look, the operators will be happy to answer any questions about the station and ILLW and Amateur Radio in general."

Find out more

Radio stations at both lighthouses will be on air from 9am Saturday, August 22, and will operate throughout the weekend.

Further information is available on at http://baremetal.systems/amateur_radio/