Danger Point Lighthouse

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Danger Point Lighthouse
Danger Point lighthouse, Gansbaai.jpg
Danger Point Lighthouse
Danger Point Lighthouse is located in Western Cape
Danger Point Lighthouse
South Africa Western Cape
LocationVan Dyksbaai
Western cape
South Africa
Coordinates34°37′49.0″S 19°18′08.9″E / 34.630278°S 19.302472°E / -34.630278; 19.302472Coordinates: 34°37′49.0″S 19°18′08.9″E / 34.630278°S 19.302472°E / -34.630278; 19.302472
Year first constructed1895
Tower shapeoctagonal tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / patternwhite tower, red lantern
Tower height17 metres (56 ft)
Focal height45 metres (148 ft)
Light sourcemains power
Intensity1,700,000 cd[1]
Range27 nautical miles (50 km; 31 mi)[2]
CharacteristicLFl(3) W 40s Edit this on Wikidata
Admiralty numberD6320
NGA number112-32216
ARLHS numberSAF-012[3]

Danger Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse on the southern point of Walker Bay, near Gansbaai, in South Africa. It is a white octagonal masonry tower that has been in use since 1895.


Bartolomeu Dias originally named Danger Point Ponte de Sao Brandao when he landed there on May 16, 1488. The name Danger Point is derived from the treacherous reefs and rocks below the water that make it very dangerous for ships to sail close to the coast.

Plaque commemorating the sinking of the Birkenhead, affixed to the Danger Point lighthouse.

The troopship HMS Birkenhead was wrecked off Danger Point in 1852. A barely visible rock (now aptly named Birkenhead Rock) 1.679 kilometres (1.043 mi) from Danger Point, was fatal for the troopship carrying young Welsh and Scottish soldiers and their officers and family on their way to Eastern Cape to fight the Xhosa. The Birkenhead became famous because it was the first shipwreck where the "women and children first" protocol was applied. All women and children were saved but most of the men perished.

More than 140 ships have been wrecked and thousands of lives lost between Danger Point and Cape Infanta, to the east of Gansbaai. In 1895, the Danger Point Lighthouse was built, providing more security for the ships in these dangerous waters.

A lighthouse commission of 1890 stressed the need for a light at Danger Point and in May 1892 engineer W T Douglass submitted a report on a lighthouse at Danger Point.[4] The light was first exhibited on 1 January 1895.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lighthouses of South Africa. Portnet. 1991. p. 25.
  2. ^ Danger Point Lighthouse leuchtturm
  3. ^ Danger Point The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved March 21, 2016
  4. ^ Williams, Harold A (1993). Southern Lights. William Waterman Publications. pp. 81–82. ISBN 0-9583751-1-9.

External links[edit]