Stories about lighthoses

Published on 18 February 2008
La Jument Lighthouse at Ouessant
La Jument Lighthouse at Ouessant
(Photo : ASCO-TP)

Pointe du Raz, 31st May 1879.
The lighthouse-keeper spotted a fishing boat from Douarnenez, the “Boit sans soif (Drinks without thirst), which had broken up on the Rousia rock. Three hours later, having called for help, he saved the nine men from the crew who were clinging on to the rock.

Ar Men Lighthouse, 1888-1889.
The lighthouse-keepers saved the six crew members from the shipwreck of the schooner brig, the “Pierre et Marie de Nantes", then, the next year, the fifteen men from the Spanish steamer, the “Merqueder”.

Eckmuhl Lighthouse - Finistère, 1891.
70 Francs were deducted from lighthouse-keeper X’s wages ... guilty of having allowed the misappropriation of 113 kgs of oil through lack of supervision.

L’île aux Moines aux Sept Iles Lighthouse, 10th July 1928.
The lighthouse-keeper, X.., hung himself after finishing his watch and drawing the curtains around the lantern. He was suffering from depression.

Eckmuhl Lighthouse - Finistère, 22nd December 1931.
One of the lighthouse-keepers who was suffering from mental problems, shut himself up in the lantern and took the telephone off the hook so that he could not be checked by his supervisors. He was discharged the next year.

Stiff Lighthouse at Ouessant, 1936.
The lantern went out on the night of 9th to 10th April from 4.30 to 5.25. The lighthouse-keeper having left the guard-room to go and get a drink of milk, breathed in petrol, which made him ill and prevented him from warning his colleague.

Beauduc Lighthouse in the Camargue, 3rd January 1941.
The snow was falling, blocking out all visibility. The lighthouse-keeper, X, was exploding melinite bullets at regular intervals to serve as an audible signal. One of these explosions proved fatal to him. He was found dead, covered in snow.

Barges en Vendée Lighthouse, 1950
The lighthouse-keepers were stranded for 47 days without relief. They had been unable to leave the tower for 22 days. They could not even open a window. When they were relieved, they had run out of all supplies and had not had any bread for 15 days and only had one bucket of coal left.

La Vielle Lighthouse - Raz de Sein, 1st February 1952.
During a supply operation, the chief lighthouse-keeper, L., fell into the sea from a height of fifteen metres. As he had his lifebelt on, he was quickly rescued and came out of it with just a few slight bruises.

La Jument Lighthouse at Ouessant, 17th July 1964.
Disappearance during the afternoon of the electromechanical engineer who fell into the sea after feeling unwell or was swept away by a sudden wave. Later on, the only things that could be found were his clogs on the platform of the lighthouse.