Lighthouses of Russia: Sakha Republic (Yakutia)

Russia's Northern Sea Route (Sevmorput) is a well developed sea lane extending through the Arctic Ocean to connect the Atlantic and Pacific. The route extends from Murmansk at the northwestern corner of Russia past the island of Novaya Zemlya and parallel to the Siberian coast all the way to the Bering Strait. East of Novaya Zemlya the shipping essentially is all Russian, and as a result this coastline is almost completely unknown in the West.

The Sakha Republic is a unit of the Russian Federation covering a vast area of Siberia. Nearly as large as India, it would be the world's eighth largest country if were independent. Its Arctic coastline faces the Laptev Sea to the northwest and the East Siberian Sea to the northeast, the two seas being separated by the New Siberian Islands.

There are scores of lights established along these waters, but practically no information is available concerning them. Additional information is needed and would be welcome.

The Russian word for a lighthouse is mayak (маяк). Russian lighthouses are maintained and operated by the Russian Navy, although some of them have civilian keepers.

The ARLHS World List of Lights does not list any of the lighthouses in the Sakha Republic. Admiralty numbers are from volume L of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals (although this is one of the few coasts in the world not well covered by that list). U.S. NGA numbers are from Publication 115.

General Sources
World of Lighthouses - Arctic Coast of Russia
Photos available from Lightphotos.net.

Ostrov Muostakh Light
Ostrov Muostakh Light, Tiksi, summer 2012
photo copyright Dr. Thomas Opel; used by permission

Khatanga Gulf (Nordvik Area) Lighthouses
Note: The Khatanga Gulf is a 220 km (135 mi) long estuary at the base of the Taymyr Peninsula; it forms part of the boundary between the Sakha Republic and the Taymyria district of Krasnoyarsk province. An island, Ostrov Bol'shoy Begichev, separates the mouth of the gulf into two straits, northern and eastern. The only settlement on the gulf was Nordvik, on the eastern strait, which began as a gulag prison camp in the 1930s and continued as a salt mining camp until the mine was closed in 1956.
Mys Otmelyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood tower, black with a white vertical stripe. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a promontory on the south side of the gulf, marking the junction of the two straits. Site status unknown. NGA 17484.
Kumakhtah
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on the south shore of the eastern strait. Site status unknown. NGA 17500.
Solyanaya Sopka (Solyanaya Hummock)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 132 m (433 ft); white flash every 4 s. 7 m (23 ft) square pyramidal wood tower, black with a white vertical stripe. The light is visible in the distant view at right, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a ridge behind (north of) the abandoned Nordvik settlement (some of the buildings of the camp can also be seen along the shoreline in the photo). Site status unknown. NGA 17504.
Mys Medvezhiy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood tower, black with a white vertical stripe. The light is visible in a distant view (click on the photo for enlargement), but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on the southern tip of Ostrov Bol'shoy Begichev, marking the north side of the 10 km (6 mi) wide eastern entrance to the gulf. Site status unknown. NGA 17520.
Mys Paksa
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 10.5 m (34 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. A photo taken from the top of the light shows the strait and Mys Medvezhiy in the distance, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a sharp promontory of the mainland, marking the south side of the eastern entrance to the gulf. Site status unknown. NGA 17516.
Peschanyy Vostochnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2 s on, 4 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Bing has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Located on an isolated island in the Laptev Sea about 105 km (65 mi) east northeast of Mys Paksa, marking the approach to the gulf. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17524.
Solyanaya Sopka Light
Solyanaya Sopka Light, Nordvik, August 2008
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Vladdislav

Lena Delta Lighthouses
Note: The Lena River, easternmost of the three great rivers of Siberia, has formed one of the world's largest deltas as it empties into the Laptev Sea. This delta is recognized as an important ecosystem, and most of it is set aside as a wildlife reserve, the largest such reserve in Russia. The delta covers an area of about 83,000 km2 (32,000 mi2).
Ayeros'yemka
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on the northern tip of a barrier island chain at the northwestern corner of the delta, marking the northernmost land in the area. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17528.
Ostrova Dunay
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white light, 3 s on, 9 s off. 32 m (105 ft) round tower with lantern and gallery. An old photo is available (2/3 the way down the page), but Google has only a distant satellite view of the location. This lighthouse is a sibling of the Mys Muostakh lighthouse seen at the top of the page. Established in the Soviet era as a light and weather station; both the light and the weather station continue in automated operation. The Dunay Islands represent the northern end of the Lena Delta. Located on a small barrier island at the northern end of the Dunay group. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17532.
Ostrov Kuba-Aryta
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on the northern tip of an island about 50 km (30 mi) southeast of the Ostrov Dunay lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17536.

Buor-Khaya Gulf (Tiksi Area) Lighthouses
Note: The southernmost extension of the Laptev Sea, the Buor-Khaya Gulf is a wedge-shaped embayment on the southeast side of the Lena Delta. On the west shore of the bay, Tiksi is the only permanent settlement of any size on the Sakha coast. Established in 1933, it is a major base for Arctic scientific studies. Its population in 2010 was about 5900.
Mys Bykov
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 26.5 m (87 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood skeletal tower. Yevgeniy Gusev has a photo, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the area. Located on a narrow peninsula just south of the southernmost mouth (the Bykov Mouth) of the Lena, about 50 km (30 mi) north of Tiksi. Site status unknown. NGA 17548.
Mys Muostakh (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. The tower carries slatted daymarks painted black with a large white diamond-shaped marking. Yevgeniy Gusev's photo is at right, and a 2011 photo is available, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the cape. Located on a sharp promontory on the north side of the entrance to Tiksi Bay. Site status unknown. NGA 17540.
Ostrov Brusneva
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 8 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on an island in Tiksi Bay, about 6.5 km (4 mi) northeast of the town. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17560.
Mys Musotakh Light
Mys Muostakh Light, Tiksi, summer 2004
photo copyright Yevgeniy Gusev; permission requested
Tiksi Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 3 s. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. Yevgeniy Gusev's photo of both range lights is at right, another photo of the two lights is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located near the shore of Tiksi Bay about 1.6 km (1 mi) south of the town. Site open, tower closed. NGA 17572.
Tiksi Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 14 m (46 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower carrying a slatted daymark painted white with a red vertical stripe. Yevgeniy Gusev's photo of both range lights is above right, and Google has a satellite view. Located about 700 m (0.21 mi) west of the front light. Site open, tower closed. NGA 17576.
Ostrov Muostakh (2)
Date unknown (station established 1935). Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); white flash every 6 s. 27 m (89 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery; the tower is covered with wood siding applied in a spiral pattern. Lighthouse originally painted with red and white horizontal bands but now unpainted; lantern painted black. Thomas Opel's photo is at the top of this page, Maxim Sotnichenko has a photo, a historic photo is available, and the lighthouse appears in a 1987 photo, but Google has only a distant satellite view of the island. There is a historic photo of the original lighthouse (still described by NGA!). Ostrov Muostakh is a narrow 13 km (8 mi) long island southeast of the entrance to Tiksi Bay. Located near the southern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17552.
Tiksi Range Lights
Tiksi Range Lights, Tiksi, summer 2004
photo copyright Yevgeniy Gusev; permission requested
Ostrov Muostakh Yuzhnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. This light is described by NGA as being on the "southern extremity" of Ostrov Muostakh, but it is actually located on an smaller island several miles to the south. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty L9550; NGA 17556.
Mys Buor-Khaya
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 37 m (121 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory marking the east side of the mouth of the Buro-Khaya Gulf. Site status unknown. NGA 17580.

Yana Bay Lighthouses
Note: Yana (Yanskiy) Bay is the bight of the southeastern Laptev Sea eastward of Mys Buor-Khaya. A large part of the shoreline of the bay is occupied by the delta of the Yana River.
Yanskiy Bay (Yana Delta)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on an island in the delta of the Yana River. Site status unknown. NGA 17584.
Ostrov Makar
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); white flash every 5 s. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Pavel Boyko has a photo of ruined structures at this station, putting the survival of the lighthouse in some doubt. Located on an island in the southeastern corner of Yana Bay. Site status unknown. NGA 17588.

New Siberian Islands and Laptev Strait Lighthouses
Note: The New Siberian Islands form a loose archipelago separating the Laptev Sea on the west from the East Siberian Sea on the east. For ships on the Northern Sea Route, there are two possible passages through the islands. The Laptev Strait (or Dmitry Laptev Strait) separates the mainland from the Lyakhovsky Islands, the southernmost group of the archipelago, while the Sannikov Strait is between the Lyakhovsky Islands and the large island of Kotelny to the north.
Ostrov Stolbovoy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 2 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. An aerial photo is at right, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Stolbovoy is a substantial island, 47 km (29 mi) long and 10 km (6 mi) wide, located in the Laptev Sea about 100 km (60 mi) west of the two stratits. Located on the southern tip of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17592.
Ostrov Stolbovoy Severnyy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); white light, 2 s on, 4 s off. 8 m (26 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on the northern tip of Ostrov Stolbovoy. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17596.
Mys Svyatoy Nos
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on a promontory of the mainland marking the western entrance to the Laptev Strait. Site status unknown. NGA 17608.
Mys Kigilyakh
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); two white flashes every 8 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Nikolay Kutusov has a photo of a light consistent with the description of this light, but he places it well to the west in a location unlikely for any lighthouse. Located on the southwestern point of Ostrov Bol'shoy Lyakhovskiy marking the north side of the western entrance to the Laptev Strait. Site status unknown. NGA 17624.
Khronomeyetr
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); one long white flash every 15 s. 13 m (43 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on the southeastern point of Ostrov Bol'shoy Lyakhovskiy marking the north side of the eastern entrance to the Laptev Strait. Site status unknown. NGA 17600.
Sannikova
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 59 m (194 ft); white light, 2 s on, 6 s off. 18 m (59 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant satellite view. Located on the southeastern point of Ostrov Kotelny marking the north side of the Sannikov Strait. Site status unknown. NGA 17632.
Ostrov Stolbovoy Light
Ostrov Stolbovoy Light, Laptev Sea, October 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Romikass; used by permission

Medvezhyi Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Medvezhyi (Bear) Islands are an archipelago of small islands at the western end of the Kolyma Gulf, about 100 km (60 mi) north of the delta of the Kolyma River. Never inhabited, the islands are a sanctuary and breeding ground for polar bears.
Ostrov Krestovskiy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 73 m (240 ft); white flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. No photo available, and Google has only a distant and partial satellite view. Located on the northwestern point of Ostrov Krestovskiy marking the northwestern end of the islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17640.
Ostrov Pushkareva
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 2 s. NGA does not provide any description of this light. No photo available, and the island is a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on the northeasternmost of the Medvezhyi Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17644.
Ostrov Chetyrekhstolbovoy
Date unknown. Active; focal plane unknown; white flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) square pyramidal wood tower. NGA does not provide any description of this light. No photo available, and the island is a blur in Google's satellite view. Located on the easternmost of the Medvezhyi Islands. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. NGA 17644.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Northern Chukotka | West: Taymyria

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Posted January 14, 2012. Checked and revised November 20, 2013. Lighthouses: 28. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.