Lighthouses Vs Waves

Mouro Lighthouse, Spain

From Cuba to Wales, coastal regions around the world are exposed to their fair share of storms. Yet while coastal residents get cozy inside with a good book and a hot thermos, what if “inside” meant being stuck in a lighthouse? Nothing more than a few bricks in a ferocious sea really. Tirelessly guiding those stuck in bad weather, lighthouses suffer silently, maybe slightly creaking in the wind and braving any storm like true pillars of strength. See for yourself.

Kereon Lighthouse in Brittany, France

One would think that the most spectacular images of lighthouses being pounded by a fierce storm would be those battling it out in the ocean.

South Haven Lighthouse – don’t miss the huge icicles on the bridge.

Residents of Lake Michigan can’t complain of not having their fair share of spectacular lakeshore action.


Sheboygan Lighthouse on Lake Michigan, clearly weather beaten.

The frequent storms on Lake Michigan draw spectators happy to get drenched as long as their cameras get away unscathed.


Lake Michigan’s Grand Haven lighthouse getting pounded by the waves.

Like pillars of strength, lighthouses stand tall, doing their job. It’s interesting how many websites with a religious touch use lighthouses in storms as a metaphor for their message.

Lake Michigan’s Grand Haven lighthouse totally frozen over and in a storm – can’t beat this image.

The pillar of strength metaphor is easy to grasp: Haven’t we all felt as if we were being pounded by big waves while still standing our ground?


Here’s the Oswego Lighthouse on Lake Ontario in New York state.

In religious contexts, lighthouses are often used as a metaphor for God. Undoubtedly, when waves as big as the one in the picture here loom large, anyone would start praying for help.

Image: NNP

The lighthouse in Seaham, Durham County, UK being dwarfed by the waves.

And what about the lighthouse keepers? Do they have to fear for their lives as the waves crash around them, often engulfing the lighthouse completely?


Image: maessive


A lighthouse in the North Sea getting pounded by waves and 130 km/h winds.

Most of the lighthouses pictured here are unmanned even though they may have a house-like structure attached to them.

The lighthouse in Porthcawl on the South Wales coast getting swallowed by the waves.

Though many lighthouses today are unmanned, people still need to check on the machinery once in a while, especially the lamps, but in most locations, there’s no need for anyone living in a lighthouse year-round.


The photograph that made La Jument in Brittany famous.

In La Jument, Brittany, in France, however, one lighthouse keeper got the shock of his life when he was waiting for a rescue helicopter during a fierce storm in 1989. Upon hearing the sound of an approaching helicopter, he went outside, ready to be picked up. Only it wasn’t his rescue ‘copter but photographer Jean Guichard’s. Guichard was out to get some amazing shots of the picturesque lighthouse in the storm when he captured the lighthouse keeper as well in a photograph that went around the world.

The lighthouse keeper who investigated was able to retreat back inside before the big wave crashed around the lighthouse. Phew!

The lighthouse of Ar-Men in Brittany engulfed by a wave.

Brittany is a region that seems especially storm-prone. The peninsula in northwestern France is situated between the British Channel and the Bay of Biscay and its coastline is dotted with lighthouses.


Three lighthouses are braving the storm in Tempete, Brittany.

Given these kind of dangers, it is not surprising that the last manned lighthouse was built in the US in 1962. Modern lighthouses are automated structures in inaccessible locations where functionality matters more than aesthetics.

Image: kayugee

The video shows how much lighthouses located right in the sea have to withstand the elements.


A fair bit of wave washing at El Malecon, Havannah’s famous seaside walkway.

Lighthouse structures directly constructed in the water are called wave-washed lights because they have to withstand the constant impact of the water.