Repairs underway at Sullivan’s Island lighthouse to get light back on

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The Coast Guard says the lighthouse at Sullivan’s Island, which has been dark for the past few weeks, could be shining again as early as Tuesday night.

The outage at the lighthouse prompted mariners to report the outage over the past few weeks.

The Coast Guard said it has been waiting for parts required to fix the light to come in. Those parts arrived, they say, Tuesday morning and repairs could be complete by Tuesday night.

Sullivan’s Island’s lighthouse can be seen more than 20 miles at sea and is a traffic sign to let mariners know they’re approaching the charleston Harbor.

Coast Guardsmen say the lighthouse serves as a marker among other lights out at sea to guide the ships in.

Charleston Branch Pilots, who oversee bringing these ships in and out of the harbor, say lighthouses are the primary point of reference for people out on the water. When a light like the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse is out, it can cause confusion.

“For somebody who’s coming to Charleston for the first time, a recreational vessel or small commercial vessel that may not require a pilot, it can be very disorienting,” Charleston Branch Pilots Executive Director John Cameron said. “You expect to see it and it’s not there and you have to rely on secondary reference points and if you make a mistake that mistake can be very substantial”

The lighthouse is also known as “Charleston Light” and was commissioned on June 15, 1962.

It was the last major lighthouse built in the United States and it replaced the Morris Island Lighthouse, which was built in 1876.

The National Park Service took control of it in 2008.

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