Minister visit for Northern Lighthouse Board

During the visit the Minister was given a tour of the buoy yard and had a go at some cleaning Photo: NLB During the visit the Minister was given a tour of the buoy yard and had a go at some cleaning Photo: NLB
Industry Database

The UK Shipping Minister has paid a visit to The Northern Lighthouse Board’s (NLB) Oban base to experience first hand the vital work it does to keep mariners safe.

During the visit the Minister was given a tour of the buoy yard including the helicopter landing site, went on board NLB’s buoy tender ‘Pole Star’ and visited Lismore Lighthouse where she met NLB technicians.

“The Northern Lighthouse Board has provided an essential service to keep mariners safe at sea for more than 200 years,” said Nusrat Ghani MP.

“It was great to visit the Oban base to see how it delivers these vital navigation aids around the coastline of Scotland and the Isle of Man as well as meeting its highly dedicated and professional staff.”

Vital work

Being the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for the area, the NLB is responsible for the superintendence and management of all lights, buoys and beacons in the region.

NLB currently operates 206 lighthouses, 167 buoys, 23 Beacons, 47 AIS (Automatic Identification System) stations, four DGPS Stations and 29 racons.

It has had a base in Oban since 1904 where it employs around 20 staff.

Staff are engaged in the maintenance and refurbishment of floating buoys to allow for six years continuous deployment “on station” in harsh environments; at the end of which the buoy is brought back to Oban for refit after being replaced by an exact duplicate.

The buoy refurbishment process involves descaling and paint application systems, ultra-high pressure washing, airless paint spraying, thickness testing and electronic systems monitoring and repair.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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