Lighthouses of the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are three small islands in the northwestern
Caribbean Sea, northwest of Jamaica and south of Cuba. British forces
captured the islands from Spain in 1655, and they have remained as British
territory ever since. Long governed from Jamaica, the Caymans became
a separate, self-governing overseas territory of Britain when Jamaica gained its independence
The Caymans do not have any traditional lighthouses. However, there
are several historic beacons regarded locally as lighthouses. Aids to
navigation in the islands are maintained and operated by the Cayman
Islands Port Authority.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of
the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List
numbers are from Publication 110.
- General Sources
- Online list of Lights - Cayman Islands
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
- Lighthouses of the Bahamas and the West Indies
- Historic postcard views posted by Michel Forand.
Grand Cayman Island Lights
- * [Boatswain Point]
- Late 1930s. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); one long (1.8 s)
white flash every 15 s. 6 m (20 ft) square steel skeletal tower
with gallery, painted white. Terry Fletcher has a photo,
and Forand has a historic postcard photo, but the small tower is not seen in Google's satellite
Located at the northwestern point of Grand Cayman, at the end of
a narrow peninsula about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of Georgetown.
Site open, tower closed. ARLHS CAY-003; Admiralty J5222; NGA 13720.
West Point (South Sound) (2)]
- Date unknown (station established 1937). Destroyed 2004. Formerly
a 30 ft steel tower.
Originally built onshore near the southwestern point of Grand Cayman,
the light was relocated around 1992 to Sand Key, a sandbar about 1
km (0.6 mi) offshore. Cayman Islands Port Director Paul Hurlston reports
that the light was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan on 11 September 2004.
No photo available. ARLHS CAY-004; Admiralty J5230; NGA 13732.
Grand Cayman Light
photo copyright Douglas Cameron; used by permission
- * [Grand
Cayman (Memorial Light, Georgetown)]
- 1980. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); quick-flashing red light.
6 m (20 ft) concrete tower. Trabas has the photo by
Douglas Cameron also seen above,
but the small tower is not seen in Google's satellite
This light was built as a memorial to local sailors lost at sea.
Located in Georgetown adjacent to the Port Authority. Site open,
tower closed. ARLHS CAY-002; Admiralty J5232; NGA 13716.
- * [Gorling
Bluff (East End) (3)]
- 1937 (station established about 1907). Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft);
two 1.2 s white flashes every 20 s. 8 m (26 ft) square steel skeletal
tower, painted white, on a small black base. A photo is at right, Trabas
has a photo, and
Tisha Titus also has a closeup photo.
A Google satellite
view may show the site. The original light was a kerosene lantern displayed from a 19 m (60 ft) ship's mast. The second (1937) light was
a steel mast with a lantern holding a kerosene lamp; remains of this
light stand behind the current beacon. Located on a bluff in Lighthouse
Park at the eastern end of Grand Cayman Island. Site open, tower closed.
Site manager: National
Trust of the Cayman Islands (East
End Lighthouse Park). ARLHS CAY-001; Admiralty J5226; NGA 13724.
Cayman Brac Light
- * [Cayman Brac East End (1 and 2)]
- Late 1930s. Inactive. 6 m (20 ft) square steel skeletal tower, lower
portion enclosed. Lighthouse painted black. This light was replaced
in the 1980s by a white triangular skeletal tower with a solar-powered
lens (focal plane 46 m (151 ft); two white flashes every 15 s). Greg
Paret has a good photo, Joseph Domingo has a 2008 photo,
a 2001 photo and
another photo of
both towers are available, Forand has a postcard photo, and Google has a satellite
atop a 43 m (140 ft) vertical cliff at the eastern end of Cayman
an island about 130 km (80 mi) east northeast of Grand Cayman. The bluff is
popular with rock climbers. Island accessible by air from Grand Cayman.
Site open; nothing prevents visitors from climbing on the towers.
Admiralty J5238; NGA 13748.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
- Lighthouse Restaurant has
a 13 m (43 ft) dome-shaped stucco tower with a round lantern, rising from
a 1-story restaurant building. This building is often listed as a lighthouse,
but it has little or no navigational value. Joshua Ryan has an excellent closeup
photo, and Google has a satellite view. The building
was damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but reopened in the spring of 2005.
Located on Bodden Town Road on the south coast of Grand Cayman east of Georgetown.
East End Light, Grand Cayman, August 2011
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Marc Barrison
Adjoining pages: North: Cuba | East: Jamaica
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Posted September 19, 2005. Checked and revised September 11, 2012. Lighthouses: 0. Site copyright 2012 Russ Rowlett and the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.