Lighthouse Beacons from Scotland

Sanda Lighthouse

Photo of Sanda Lighthouse by Gordon Brown via Wikimedia

Sanda Lighthouse is located on an island just off the Mull of Kintrye south of Campbeltown near the village of Southend. The island forms the turning point into the Firth of Clyde after passing through the north Channel between Scotland and Ireland.

It is a unique station because of how it is built on the top of a small detached rock, off Sanda, which is nicknamed "Ship Rock". The engineer designed a stone tower with 3 sections set against the face of the rock, still the only one of its kind in Scotland. It was first operational in 1850. The tower itself is 15 metres (nearly 50 feet) high and the lights have a nominal range of 19 miles on white and 16 miles on red.

The picture on the right is from the Northern Lighthouse Board's Quarterly Journal. In 1900 the Royal National Lifeboat Institution silver medal and vellum citation was presented to the attending boatmen for Sanda - a Daniel Dempsey and his 2 sons - for saving the crew of a schooner wrecked near the lighthouse. They used a small boat in heavy seas and at great risk to themselves.

There have been several other shipwrecks at Sanda. In March 1946, the American liberty ship "Byron Darnton" ran aground. Fifty four people were on board and all were saved.

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