Thanks to their frequent appearances in popular children’s stories by the likes of Enid Blyton and Jules Verne, not to mention numerous comic books, lighthouses are still evocative of gripping sea adventures, sailing ships and messages in bottles.
In everyday life (even in our increasingly computerised and digital age), lighthouses are also an essential navigational aid, especially in adverse weather conditions, when the elements cannot be controlled or predicted by electronic technology and seafarers must once more depend on their intelligence and experience for survival.
That is why two ancient lighthouses on opposing shores of the Atlantic have recently been restored to their original splendour with the help of two DIECI vehicles, a Zeus and a Pegasus.
The first involved a difficult joint operation between a ship belonging to the Brittany Lighthouses and Beacons Service, a helicopter and a Zeus 37.7: on a rocky outcrop six miles off the coast of Brittany, in a stormy stretch of sea, soars the Pierres Noires (“Black Rocks”) Lighthouse, known as the “The Hell of Hells” due to its precarious location. Built in 1871, it is listed as a national monument and is still in operation.
Recently it was decided to restore the lighthouse’s wrought iron cupola (weighing over 800 kg), which was seriously corroded by over a century of exposure to salty air. Detached from its supports, the cupola was lowered to the ground by a powerful transport helicopter, where a Zeus 37.7 owned by LOCARMOR (authorised DIECI dealer in Brittany) needed all its strength and precision to carefully arrange the cupola, without damaging its structure, onto another, purpose-built support for transportation to the restoration workshop.
During the same operation, workers removed the old rotating unit, which was prone to repeated breakdowns and dangerous due to the more than 100 kg of mercury that it contained, and replaced it with a powerful and safe LED lamp system.