Lighthouses of Suriname
Suriname, the former Dutch Guiana, is an independent nation
on the north coast of South America, located between Guyana to the west
and French Guiana to the east. Although it was colonized first by the
British, Suriname was conquered by the Netherlands in 1667 and remained
a Dutch colony until it became independent in 1975.
Remarkably, the shores of Suriname shelter the remains of three historic
lightships. Thanks to Iris Klempau and Michel Forand for researching these
Dutch remains the official language in Suriname. The Dutch word for a lighthouse is vuurtoren; hoek is a cape, and rivier is a river. The country has two ports, Parimaribo and Nieuw Nickerie. Aids to navigation are presumably maintained by the national port authority, Havenbeheer Suriname.
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
List of Lights - Suriname
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alex Trabas.
- World of Lighthouses - Suriname
- Photos available from Lightphotos.net.
- Nieuw Nickerie Lighthouse
- Note: Nieuw Nickerie, Suriname's second largest city, is located at the northwestern corner of the country, across the Boven Corantijn River from Guyana.
- * Nickerie Rivier
- Date unknown. Active (?); focal plane 22 m (72 ft); red flash every 5
s. 21 m (69 ft) tower, form unknown. No photo available, and clouds obscure Google's satellite view of the area. The light was dropped from the NGA List in 2011 but restored in 2012. Located on
a point of land on the west side of the entrance to the Nickerie River,
near Nieuw Nickerie. Site status
unknown, but the area is open and it should not be difficult to locate the light. ARLHS SUR-005; Admiralty J6866; NGA 17356.
Lightship Suriname Rivier, April 2009
Flickr Creative Commons
by Nicholas Laughlin
Parimaribo Area Lightships
- * Lightship Suriname 1 (Suriname Rivier)
- 1911 (station established 1858). Decommissioned in 1972. Steel lightship with a round light
tower, lantern and gallery. Ship painted red. Nicholas Laughlin's photo
is at right, Jeffrey van der Wees has a 2009 photo, a closeup of the light tower is available, Vanessa Decort has a 2006 photo, and Google has a satellite view. Michel Forand
has documented at least five light vessels known to have served the
Suriname Rivier station off the entrance to Parimaribo, the national
capital. This is believed to be the third. Lightphotos.net has a historic photo of the ship nearing completion in 1910 in the Netherlands. There is another historic photo (2/3 of the way down the page) of the ship, rigged as a sail-driven vessel and with its light tower taken down, leaving the Netherlands for Suriname in 1911. Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the ship on station. Site open, vessel
- Lightship Suriname 2 (ex U.S. LV-106/WAL-528)
- 1923 (on station in Suriname from 1968). Decommissioned 1981. 40.3
m (132 ft) 2-masted steel lightship. According to the U.S. Coast Guard
this ship served originally as the Nantucket. After World
War II it was reassigned as a relief lightvessel until 1968, when
it was sold to Suriname. Presently it is an abandoned hulk beached
with its sister ship LV-109 on the Suriname River near the Overbridge Resort, about 50 km (30 mi) south of Paramaribo;
a photo of the two ships is available, Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the two ships, and a Google satellite view probably shows them. Lightphotos.net has a photo of the ship in U.S. service as the Relief. Accessible only by boat. Site open,
- Lightship Suriname 3 (ex U.S. LV-109/WAL-531)
- 1923 (on station in Suriname from 1968). Decommissioned 1981. 40.3 m (132
ft) 2-masted steel lightship. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Historian's
ship served originally for 30 years as a relief lightvessel. In 1954 it was
assigned as the Savannah, and it served briefly (1965-66) as the
New Orleans. Presently it is an abandoned hulk beached with its sister
ship LV-106 on the Suriname River near the Overbridge Resort, about 50 km (30 mi) south of Paramaribo; a photo
of the two ships is available, Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the two ships, and a Google satellite view probably shows them. Accessible only by boat. Site open, vessel
Maroni River Lighthouse
Galibi (Maroni River) (3)
- Date unknown (station established 1871). Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft);
white flash every 5 s. 60 m (197 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on four
concrete piers. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. Google has a satellite view. The first lighthouse, a 21 m (69 ft) pyramidal tower, was replaced
in 1897 by a 16 m (52 ft) hexagonal skeletal tower. Located at Hoek (Cape)
Galibi on the west side of the entrance to the Maroni River, which forms the
boundary between Suriname and French Guiana. Accessible only by boat. Site
open, tower closed. ARLHS SUR-001; Admiralty J6882; NGA 17400.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: French Guiana | West: Guyana
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Posted November 30, 2006. Checked and revised June 30, 2013. Lighthouses: 2; lightships: 3. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.