Sites cho­sen for Xisha light­houses to give ships ‘ex­tra eyes’

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LIU XIAOLI in Haikou li­ux­i­aoli@chi­

The sites of five light­houses to be built on is­lands in the Xisha wa­ters have been se­lected, the Nav­i­ga­tion Guar­an­tee Cen­ter of the South China Sea said on Thurs­day.

Nav­i­ga­tion ser­vices in the wa­ters are cur­rently very ba­sic — there is a short­age of maps of is­lands and no dif­fer­en­tial GPS net­work.

The cen­ter said the lack of in­for­ma­tion cre­ated dif­fi­cul­ties for ships wish­ing to an­chor over co­ral reefs.

A team of light­house con­struc­tion ex­perts has been sent to con­duct re­search at the five lo­ca­tions.

The sites have been cho­sen be­cause they meet a num­ber of cri­te­ria — they are ac­ces­si­ble, pro­vide shel­ter from wa­ter and wind ero­sion and are suit­able for the pro­vi­sion of nav­i­ga­tion sup­port.

Cheng Hong, a mem­ber of the team, said re­search and data col­lec­tion was be­ing car­ried out to as­sist the fu­ture con­struc­tion of the light­houses.

“Based on the weather and wave sit­u­a­tion, the op­er­a­tion will last for about a month,” he said.

The Xisha wa­ters are ad­min­is­tered by San­sha, the coun­try’s south­ern­most city, in Hainan province. It is re­spon­si­ble for more than 200 small is­lands, sand banks and reefs.

Xiao Jie, San­sha’s mayor, said the light­houses would sig­nif­i­cantly con­trib­ute to the city’s eco­nomic growth and the devel­op­ment in­dus­tries.

Huang Kex­iong, 44, a fish­er­man from Tan­men county, Hainan province, wel­comed news of the project.

“It is not hard for vet­eran mar­itime pi­lots to an­chor over reefs in the Xisha wa­ters, but light­houses will be a great help on windy and rainy days,” he said.

“They will re­duce the risk of be­ing stranded when tak­ing refuge in harsh weather.”

of ma­rine

Jin­qing is one of the five is­lands cho­sen for the project. Huang said mariners of­ten sought shel­ter from strong winds there, and a light­house was needed on the south­west­ern part of the is­land.

Zhang Tianfu, the cap­tain of a fish­ing ves­sel based in Sanya, Hainan province, said light­houses are like ex­tra eyes that help cap­tains to avoid sub­merged rocks.

Sun Li con­trib­uted to this story.

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