Future uncertain for 129-year-old Halifax foghorn
HALIFAX -- An iconic lighthouse standing at the mouth of Nova Scotia’s Halifax Harbour is at risk of going silent forever.
The Chebucto Head lighthouse has been sounding the alarm for sailors and fishermen for more than 100 years, but its foghorn went silent in February and has not yet been deemed necessary to repair.
"At this time there are no plans to reactivate the fog signal," said Harvey Vardy, regional director of Atlantic Navigational Programs at the Canadian Coast Guard.
The lighthouse was first lit in 1872 and, until February, its foghorn guided ships from their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is also a well-known landmark among locals and visitors along the Duncans Cove hiking trail.
The structure is atop a rocky cliff, with no protection from trees. The lighthouse is fully exposed to the elements and once required frequent repairs to keep it weatherproof. The property is a sensitive coastal ecological area, owned by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the province.
A review of the foghorn has been completed and the coast guard's findings will be published online at the end of the month. The lighthouse is one of 20 other navigational aides in the area, but until February it was the only the only working foghorn in the approaches to Halifax Harbour.
The coast guard will soon determine whether the 129-year-old foghorn is worth salvaging.
Barry MacDonald of the Nova Scotia lighthouse preservation society believes this lighthouse is still necessary.
"You still have a lot of recreational boaters and yachters in that area that rely on that foghorn," MacDonald told CTV National News.
No final decision has been made on the fate of the foghorn and people still have time to share input on the decision.
"Mariners will be given the opportunity to raise any concerns they may have with our findings or with our recommendations," Vardy told CTV National News.