Kerch Branch of the State Hydrographic Service of Ukraine

Lighthouse Buruns'kyi Front
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°14.3' N
Longitude – 36°25.0' E
Tower height from the basement – 16 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 30 m
Light visibility range – 8 miles
Lighthouse Buruns'kyi Rear
Geographic coordinates:
Located at a distance of
7.9 cables from the Front one
Tower height from the basement –11 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 48 m
Light visibility range:
Green – 8 miles
Red –18 miles

Kerchens'ka Strait was always distinguished by its nonconstant parameters. In accordance with observations of the late 20th century the strait width has decreased by 45–50 m, and its depth – by 0.5 m. That is why the works of deepening the bottom and water way widening were always carried out there. That favoured the navigation increasing in the strait which, respectively, required the perfection of the navigation equipment in the region.

In 1906 the Chief Hydrographic Department informed the navigators in Pilot's Notes that "two leading Buruns'kyi lighthouses for illuminating the Second (Buruns'kyi) elbow of the approach channel from the Black Sea to the port of Kerch were installed on the western coast of the Kerch-Yeni-Kale channel". Lighting direction is NO–SW 37°34'.

The Lower (Front) Buruns'kyi lighthouse mounted on the Komysh-Buruns'kyi Cape consists of a stone one-storey dwelling house with services and a stone octahedral tower 55 feet high from the basement, and 125 feet above the sea level which stands aside.

The lighthouse has a directional lighting which gives light towards the 2nd elbow axis as well as the sector lighting which embraces the reefs near the Такіl Cape and Anisimov’s sand-bank (southwards from the Panagia Cape). Thus it is the entrance lighthouse to the Kerchens'ka Strait.

The Upper (Rear) Buruns'kyi lighthouse, mounted at a distance of 692 fathoms SW 37°34' from the Lower Buruns'kyi one (in Eltigen locality), consists of a stone one-storey house with services and a stone tetrahedral tower 38 feet high from the basement and 174 feet high above the sea level, which stands aside. The tower is equipped with the direction lighting which lights in the direction of the leading line formed with the Lower lighthouse (bearing NO 37°34').

Both lighthouses began operating in 1906.

Terrible years of the war have not passed by the lighthouse buildings. Bombing, shellings have made their bad deed: lighthouses were subjected to considerable damage. They were repaired and put in operation only in 1954, and until that time a temporal woody mark stood instead of the Buruns'kyi Front lighthouse: that was a black two-face shield 12 m high, and a similar 12 m shield with a top figure stood instead of the Rear Buruns'kyi lighthouse.

In 1954 both lighthouses were rebuilt on their former basements: the same lighting unit as before the war was installed and they were transferred to electric supply.

In 1985 an additional red fixed light with visibility range of 18 miles, which lights in the sector of 149°, was installed at the tower to provide a more safe navigation in the southern part of the Kerchens'ka Strait.

Lighthouse Komysh-Buruns'kyi Front
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°16.8' N
Longitude – 36°24.7' E
Tower height from the basement – 12 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 32 m
Light visibility range – 10 miles
Lighthouse Churbas'kyi Rear
Geographic coordinates:
Located at a distance of 5 miles from the Front one
Tower height from the basement – 31 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 125 m
Light visibility range – 20 miles

The Front Komysh-Buruns'kyi and Rear Churbas'kyi lighthouses form a leading line of 246.8°–66.8°, providing thus the vessel navigation in the third elbow of Kerch-Yenі-Kale channel.

At first two woody tetrahedral towers with lanterns were built on the western coast with the purpose of safety of navigation in this channel: one tower at the edge of the steep coast of Komysh-Buruns'kyi Bay and another one – on the hill behind the village of Churbash. These temporary lighthouses had to show the way for the vessels which passed along the elbow of the Yeni-Kale channel.

There were attempts to construct additional lighthouses on the eastern coast, but time has proved that those temporary lighthouses were most reliableand convenient for use. Having weighed pros and cons Grand Duke Kostyantyn Mykolayovych ordered to change them by "strong, capital lighthouses with convenient dwelling premises" for personnel. But because of the lack of assets his order was not fulfilled at once. The lighthouses began functioning in the second half of the 19th century: Komysh-Buruns'kyi lighthouse in 1866, and Churbas'kyi one in 1872.

The Sailing Directions of the Black and Azov Seas pub¬lished in 1903 gave the detailed descriptions of those light¬houses. It was said, in particularthat the Komysh-Buruns'kyi (Lower leading) lighthouse was built at the edge of a steep slope at a distance of 250 fathoms from the lowland coast of the strait. A stone lighthouse tower connected with the dwelling one-storey house was stained red. Total power of light from all six units of the lighthouse is equal to the light¬house brightness of the 1 st category, it gives fixed red light.

The lighthouse was modernized in 1988 (a new tower was built). The light color (red) was not changed.

The Churbas'kyi (Upper leading) lighthouse was located at a distance of 5 miles from the Komysh-Buruns'kyi lighthouse on the hill westwards from the village of Churbash. In 1985 it was modernized, and in 1997 it was subjected to capital repair.

The Churbas'kyi lighthouse belongs to those of the 1 st class, it gives white light.

Lighthouse Kyz-Aul's'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°03.6' N
Longitude – 36°22.4' Е
Tower height from the basement – 31 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 62 m
Light visibility range:
White – 21, red – 17, green – 13 miles

Neither of the Black Sea parts was so difficult for mariners as the Kerchens'ka Strait and its approaches. The way along the Kyz-Aul's'kyi Cape (Girls' aul in translation from Turkic), the bank of the same name at a distance of 9 cables north-eastwards from it and a bulk of stones Yelchan-Kaya (Stone-Ship rock) were especially dangerous. To buoyage these dangerous places and to make the navigation in this region more safe the construction of the Kyz-Aul's'kyi lighthouse was started in 1872 at the hill closest to the sea at a distance of 180 m from the cutwater, and the construction of a stone octahedral tower was finished in 1875; the tower was stained with white and black vertical stripes. A two-storey house for personnel was built near the tower.

The dioptric light-optical unit, installed on the tower, gave white and green fixed light: white light showed a safe way, and green – on both sides of the white one – warned mariners against the above-water Yelchan-Kaya stones, against a reef which comes forward from the Zhelyzny Rog (Iron Horn) Cape, as well as against a number of shoals near the Cape. It the 1930's a radio beacon was installed at the lighthouse owing to which the mariners obtained a possibility to define reliably their location long before the approaching the Kerchens'ka Srait.

In the beginning of the Great Patriotic war the expensive devices of the lighthouse were disassembled and evacuated. The lighthouse stopped its work for some period of time, but ships continued sailing and annihilating enemies. Manipulation groups helped them in this work.

Now, some words about the Yelchan-Kaya stones. These rocks are covered with legends. Once upon a time the powerful lightning stroke stirred up everything around, and the Opuk mountain with vessel passing by it splitted, and its fragments fell down to the sea and buried the ship under them. Four stones, located in parallel, remained at the spot of this catastrophe. The largest stone, looks like a sailing vessel, that is why, this rock is called a Stone Ship.

And during the Great Patriotic war this rock became a silent witness of heroism of our mariners-hydrographers. Lieutenants D.G.Vizhulla and V.E.Mospan with a risk for their lives, climbed in exceptionally hard weather conditions to the peak of a 20-meter high rock and switched on an acetylene lantern thus ensuring a safe sailing for our ships. Brave marine officers died, but a memory about them still lives in the hearts of grateful descendants. The names of Vizhulla and Mospan are rapped out on the memorial plaque installed on the house of Hydrographic Department of the Black Sea Fleet of RF, their photographs are on the stand of the Museum of the Head Department of Navigation and Oceanography in Saint-Petersburg.

After liberation of the Crimea the Kyz-Aul's'kyi lighthouse was reconstructed and at the end of the 60's of the last century it was rebuilt. Later on, in 1973 the radio lighthouse was installed and diesel-aggregate was assembled for autonomous electric supply, and in 1977 the main current supply network was made, electric power facilities were reconstructed.

The tower is lighted with a projector at night.

Lighthouse Chaudyns'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°00.3' N
Longitude – 35°50.3'Е
Tower height from the basement – 16 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 37.0
Light visibility range – 17 miles

Sailing Directions of Hydrographic Department of 1988 informed that the lighthouse built at the hill of the Chaudyns'kyi Cape in 1886 was intended: "... to prevent accidents with vessels which enter the Kerchens'ka Strait and to simplify the vessels' approach to Feodosiia".

The lighthouse light was very bright owing to the lamp of six concentric lights, the light was visible even in the day-time for almost 20 miles.

After the Great Patriotic war (in 1956) the lighthouse was reconstructed, and in 1978 it was capitally repaired. Like most lighthouses, the Chaudyns'kyi lighthouse is also transferred to external electric supply, light optical devices are also changed at it.

Lighthouse lllins'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°00.8' N
Longitude – 35°25.4' E
Tower height from the basement – 15 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 65
Light visibility range – 21 miles

The history of this lighthouse construction, as well as its name is uncommon. As to the name, the lighthouse was called so owing to its place, i.e., the Saint lllia Cape where it was built on a steep coast. This cape is the western entrance cape of the Feodosiia bay, on which coast the city and port of Feodosiia are situated.

From times immemorial (approximately from the 6th century B.C.) Feodosiia was a place of brisk trade. Greeks took there spices, silk, armours, wine, changing all that for grain, furs, fish, salt that supplied by Scithians and taures from the northern Black Sea area and Pere-Azovian area. Then arised a question of safety of navigation, in particular, the marking of approaches to the port. It is unknown how and when there appeared the first navigation marks. However, it is said in one of the legends that the mariners on the approaches to the port orientated themselves to the light of candles which burnt in the near-shore church built in memory of the lovers whose boat wrecked against the stone which broke away from the great rock and fell to the sea. Only in the second half of the 19th century it was mentioned that "... the port lights were seen in the Feodosiia Bay".

The trading port developed, intensity of ships movement increased, the accidents of ship collisions occurred more and more often, that led to the death of mariners. Besides, the squally wind always raged near the St. lllia Cape, that also created serious danger. Propositions were expressed concerning the lighthouse construction, but they were not confirmed by the main factor – the corresponding material assets. There happened a case which decided the problem. Yevdokiya Mykolaivna Rukavyshnykova, a wife of the full state councellor, who stayed in Feodosiia where her son went through the course of tuberculosis therapy, often heard about ship accidents, deaths of sailors. She decided, as a taken gratitude to the city, where her son succeeded to recover, to construct a lighthouse which could prevent ships from accidents, illuminating the approaching way for mariners. To say the truth, she had to make a lot of efforts and to display resource to realize her decision.

In 1899 a Landberg system lighting unit with frequent (white-green) light was installed on the south¬eastern coast of St. I Ilia's Cape for the assets gathered by Rukavyshnykova. It was installed at a distance of 5 km from Feodosiia at the height of 64 m above the sea level in the openwork woody booth on woody trestle. The light visibility range was 8 and 3 miles, respectively.

The lighthouse was reconstructed in 1912. The woody trestle was changed by metal one, as well as the metal lantern with dioptric light-optical unit of the 6th category. That increased the light visibility range by several miles. There was established a pneumatic siren, which sent signals of high and low tonality.The lighthouse also saw horrors of the Great Patriotic war: like Feodosiia it was occupied by German aggressors that allocated the artillery battery just near the tower. That was a convenient target for the soviet warships. During the great Kerch-Feodosiian operation the destroyer "Zheleznyakov" brought down all the fire of its cannons upon this battery and broke this battery, but the lighthouse also had been destroyed. A temporal light was lighted at the place of the ruined lighthouse after liberation of Feodosiia. The new lighthouse tower, which we can see today, and the lighthouse settlement were rebuilt in 1953–1955. In 1954 the lighthouse was transferred to electric power supply, diesel-electrical aggregates and stationary accumulator battery was installed for that purpose. A modern light-optical unit with long-flashing white light is installed at the lantern building now. For better visibility the tower is lighted additionally.

Lighthouse Mehanoms'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 44°47.5' N
Longitude – 35°04.9' E
Tower height from the basement – 12 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 99 m
Light visibility range – 25 miles

A question of installing the light lighthouse on the stone Mehanom Cape was raised repeatedly by mariners. And they had every reason for that, but the main reason was a rather high probability of their collision with the cape, projecting far in the sea, when they approach the seaways with intensive navigation. The hydrographic Department of Russia had considered the sailor's requirements and its plan for 1879 had a provision for the lighthouse construction on the cape. But this decision implementation was prevented by the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–1878. Only in 1894 its realization began. Allowing for the fact that the place, where the lighthouse was to be built, was too desolate and prohibitive, they first started to build а 6 km long road. The tower was built simultaneously with dwelling and household premises. The works were carried out intensively, and already on September 15, 1895, the lighthouse was put in operation. In contrast to other lighthouses, the best for that time light optical unit bought in France was installed at the Mehanoms'kyi lighthouse; this unit provided the necessary rate and reliability of flashes interchange. The lighthouse light was white, of rotary character, operated in the regime: powerful short (1/3 sec) and less intensive but longer (6 sec) flashes with three-second intervals between them.

The lighthouse in its initial form existed till the Great Patriotic war, but, being located in the region of severe battles it was ruined very much. The lighthouse was repaired only after the Crimea had been liberated; a new kerosene-heated torch was made in the lighting device, the dwelling house and access road were reconstructed.

The lighthouse was permanenly perfected: a kerosene-heating torch was dismounted in 1959, and a light-optical unit was transferred to electric current. For this purpose the diesel-aggregates were established and an electric beacon EM-35/1 with four lenses L-350 was changed by the light-optical unit. But it was also soon (1960) substituded by a more advanced one, i.e., an electric beacon EMB-3. The external electric current was supplied to the lighthouse in the 80's, a reserve light with flashing devices was installed. In 2004 the light-optical unit was changed by ACA-500.

Lighthouse Rybachyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 44°45.8' N
Longitude – 34°35.2' E
Tower height from the basement – 21 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 130 m
Light visibility range – 18 miles

The Rybachyi lighthouse was mounted on the southern coast of the Crimea Peninsula at the cape altitude. Being put into operation on December 28, 1968 it ensures the safety of navigation for the vessels sailing along the coast. That was the first automatic light radio lighthouse with a tower of 16 m high and electric current supply from the windmill-electric generating unit. A light-optical unit ACA-500 N 1 and a marker radio beacon MPM-61 were installed at the lighthouse. The tower was built of the Inkerman stone.

In 1985, the Rybachyi lighthouse was modernized: it was connected with the external electric network, the marker radio beacon was disassembled; the light-optical unit diesel-electrical aggregate, accumulator battery were changed; a reserve flashing light was installed.

Lighthouses Pavlovs'kyi Leading Front
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 45°18' N
Longitude – 36°27.3' E
Tower height from the basement – 17 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 65 m
Light visibility range – 16 miles
Lighthouse Leading Rear
Geographic coordinates:
Located at a distance of 3.6 cables from the Front one
Tower height from the basement – 15 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 105 m
Light visibility range – 15 miles

Notwithstanding the Crimean war of 1853–1856 which, surely, restrained the operations of installing the navigation equipment in the Kerchens'ka Srait, the waterways and their geographic directions, which led to Kerch and the Sea of Azov, were determined rather precisely. To ensure a reliable and safe sailing in the strait a lighthouse was built in the fortress territory on the Pavlovs'kyi Cape located southwards from the city of Kerch. The lighthouse light was switched on June 9 of the same year.

A cathodioptric light-optical unit of the 3rd category with two fixed corner lights which buoyaged the waterway on the west of the Такil rift, and on the east of the Ak-Buruns'kyi reef. The Light elevation above the Sea level was 22 m, and visibility range – 14 miles.

The navigation equipment of the Kerchens'ka Srait was perfected in parallel with the deepening and widening of its waterway. Thus, a woody mark in a form of the tower with four supports and two horizontal bands at the top was constructed in 1884 on the hill behind the Pavlovs'kyi lighthouse (at a distance of 257 m from it). That was made to equip the leading line which had to favour the safe sailing in the southern (first) elbow of the channel. Later on, in 1907 the Rear (Upper) Pavlovs'kyi lighthouse was built at the spot; its light elevation was 103 m above the sea level and it gave a fixed red light.

In the war-years the Pavlovs'kyi lighthouses, in contrast to many others, were not evacuated. They served the ship artillery up to the last day of defence, and then they were extinguished.

After the war both lighthouses were repaired and put into operation; the Rear one in 1946, and the Front one in 1952.

The Front lighthouse of the Pavlovs'kyi leading line gives a red flashing light today, providing the visibility range of 16 miles.

The Rear lighthouse of the leading line is 10 m high and illuminates the same sector of the sea, but it gives a red light visible for 19 miles.

Both lighthouses are equipped with additional white fixed lights and are switched on in the day-time, and also with passive radio reflectors.

Lighthouse Biriuchyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 46°05.5' N
Longitude – 34°59.5' Е
Tower height from the basement – 25 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 27 m
Light visibility range – 15 miles

Long ago the port of Heniches'k occupied a significant place among the ports of the Russian South. But the Biriuchyi Island beak in the north-western part of the Sea of Azov on the approaches to Heniches'k was always dangerous for mariners. That was a reason for installing there the navigation marks which could ensure the safety of navigation. The beak was firstly buoyaged by two marks which were set up at a margin of the low-land sandy eastern coast. But a true mark was set up there only in 1878, but because of the Russian-Turkey war of 1877–1878 it was put into operation five years later – on October 21,1882. A dioptric light-optical unit was installed at a white stone round tower, 24.7 m high. The unit gave a fixed white light covering the sector of the sea from 78°45' to 33°45' (the sector permanently varied). The light visibility range was 8.3 miles. In the same 1882 the Hydrographical Department noted in its annual report: "Owing to the construction and the light of this lighthouse at the margin of the low-land Biriuchyi Peninsula the vessels have obtained a possibility to approach at night the city of Heniches'k. But the entry to the port will be more safe after opening the lighting of the Heniches'kyi lighthouse".

During a long term of its existence the Biriuchyi lighthouse suffered repeatedly from the element strokes. One of them occurred in winter of 1886. The winter was too windy. Powerful storms had led to the beak submersion, the lighthouse was also affected. From the words of eyewitnesses, even the stone tower shaked under the hurricane impacts. It resulted in the onset of cracks on its walls, which were soon liquidated by the efforts of personnel. The had also made much for accomplishing the territory around the lighthouse. The arid and bare locality was slowly and positively decorated with trees, bushes and flowers. They brought there pheasants and deers.

The Great Partiotic war also touched this part of the Azov Sea coast. From September 1941 to October 30, 1943 Heniches'k and its vicinities were under the hand of German-fascist invaders. The lighthouse was essentially damaged during the Crimea liberation. A new white hexahedral 25 m high tower was built on the place of the old one in 1957. The lighthouse settlement was also rebuilt. In 1984 the Biriuchyi lighthouse was modernized and capitally repaired; an advanced equipment which ensures a reliable work of the light-optical units was installed on it. In 1993 the lighthous was the last in the Sea of Azov which was connected to the main electric network.

Lighthouse Heniches'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 46°10.9' N
Longitude – 34°49.3' E
Tower height from the basement – 18 m
Light elevation above the Sea level:
Red – 22 m;
White –19 m.
Light visibility range:
Red – 8 miles
White – 13 miles

The settlement of Heniches'k has been used as a port since 1860. There were no port structures there and the cargo barges were loaded from the coast. But the revival and expansion of trade and shipping required not only modern wharfs, but also navigation marking of approaches to them. That is why the Russian Industry and Trade Society made a plan to dig out the sea channel across the bar in the mouth of Tonka Strait, to construct a woody embankment, to equip the port territory and to pave with stone the access roads to the port. At the same time it was decided to build lighthouses which could protect the approaches to the port, showing vessels their way to the roadstead.

The consruction of Biriuchyi and Heniches'kyi lighthouses was started simultaneously. The first had to show a safe way to the roadstead, the second – to persuade mariners about the dangerous Biriuchyi Beak which lied on the way to Heniches'k. The lighthouse construction in the northern part of the city on the hill of the western coast of the Heniches'kyi Strait was finished in 1879. That was a white two-storey house with a tetrahedral tower in the middle of the facade which faced the sea.

The lighthouse was not put into operation during six years because of the Russian-Turkey war of 1877–1878 , but it functioned as a nonlighting navigation mark. Only in autumn 1833 the Hydrographical Department published information for mariners: "...from October 16 of this year we have put into operation the light of the Heniches'kyi coast lighthouse , built in the city of Heniches'k at the latitude 46°10' 53" and longitude 34°50' 00" by Greenwich. Two its lighting units, are installed vertically one above another in each tower. They give fixed red light at an angle of 22° of SO 14° to SO 36 and are true. The Light elevation above the Sea level is 81.5 feet, mathematical horizon – 10.4 miles".

The eastern border of the sector protected mariners from the five-meter shoal that lied westwards of the Biriuchyi Beak, and the other border being closer to Heniches'k showed the beginning of the Genches'kyi approache channel which construction was finished in 1900.

The lighthouse suffered from the artillery and bombardment in the years of the Great Patriotic war. However, in 1944 it was repaired and put into operation. It was also restored in 1961. It looks so today. Additional white flashing light was installed at the lighthouse in 1977, and radio beacon was installed there in 1990.

Lighthouse Berdians'kyi Upper
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 46°46.0' N
Longitude – 36°45.9' E
Tower height from the basement – 3.3
Light elevation above the Sea level – 72 m
Light visibility range – 19 miles

The lighthouse was constructed in 1878 to make the entry to the port of Berdians'kyi more safe. Firstly that was an unlit mark which was called the Berdians'kyi port mark. But in the course of time (1883) a lighting unit was installed on it. On this point the Hydrographical Department informed in Sailing Directions: "Beginning from October 1, 1883 the Berdians'kyi Upper Lighthouse is put into operation. It is located in the north-western vicinity of the city of Berdians'kyi. The lighthouse is built of stone, white, in a form of a rectangular two-storey tower connected with a dwelling house. Two lighting units are vertically installed one above another, one at each tower storey; they give fixed white light at an angle of 30 of SW 16°30' to 46°30'. The Light elevation above the sea level – 165 feet, and mathematical horizon – 14.7 miles".

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic war on the order of Commander-in-Chief of the Black Sea Fleet the lighthouse was switched off. But it still remained not only a reliable marker, but, unfortunately, a target for enemy's artillery-men and pilots. However, only lantern and partially household structures were ruined at the lighthouse during the war actions. The tower had withstood, but it was also rebuilt after the war. In 1977 an electrical light-optical unit of EMВ type was installed in the lantern structure of the tower; it gives red flashing light in the sector of 100°–250° and ensures the light visibility range of 19 miles.

A deviation radio beacon functions now at the lighthouse, it is also provided with autonomous electric power supply.

Lighthouse Berdyans'kyi Lower
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 46° 38.2' N
Longitude – 36° 45.8' E
Tower height from the basement – 19 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 24 m
Light visibility range – 15 miles

There are a lot of locations and regions dangerous of sailing in the Sea of Azov. The Berdyans'ka Bar is the most dangerous among them. It projected southwards as a triangle and then, deviating south westwards, ssnarrowed in the middle and expanded again in its end. The total bar length was 8 miles.

It is easy to imagine how carefully the sailors approached the port of Berdyans'k, but all the same they often could not help but run aground. The cargo transportation being intensified, such troubles occurred rather freguently. Then, there arised a question about intalling the navigation marks, a beacon in particular. In 1838, a lighthouse was built on the bar, at a distance of 600 m from its edge. It began functioning from September 3, 1838. The five-storeys lantern building has the lighting unit of 15 lamps and reflectors which gave white flashing light at a high of 25.5 m over sea level, the visibility range was 10 miles.

It was rather difficult to be on service at this lighthouse. Firstly, there was no tap water and it was brought from Berdyansk, which was in 25 km. Secondly, the bar end, where the lighthouse stood, was often rewashed by water and its contacts with the city were stopped; one could reach the lighthouse only by boat. And that could continue for many days.

The Berdyans'k Lower lighthouse transfer to electrical power supply was a significant event in its life. The lighthouse became the second electrical beacon in Russia after the Odes'kyi lighthouse and the 15th electrical beacon in the world (there were above 5000 lighthouses all over the world 0 Auth.). It is true that first electrical machines were unreliable, they often failed and people had to come back to oil lamp. Only in 1911 old steam and electric generators were changed by new ones, which were more reliable and powerful; and a 20-pood bell was installed near the lighthouse for applying sound signals in the case of fogs, snow-storms, etc. There was also a steam siren which consisted of three horns of different size and kind.

Like all that region, the lighthouse also suffered from war. During the First World war the Berdyans'kyi Lower lighthouse functioned episodically, and then was switched of at all. Permanent electrical illumination was renewed only in 1929. Early in October 1941, the Berdyans'ka Bar and the lighthouse were occupied by the enemy and stayed in he invaders' hands up to September 17, 1943, e.i. they were liberated by a landing party of the Azov navy fleet. The lighthouse building was destructed during the military actions.

After the war the Berdyans'kyi Lower Lighthouse began functioning only in 1947, it was completely rebuilt in 1956, and two years later a radio-beacon was installed there. In 20 years the lighthouse had been modernized, capitally repaired, and a radar was installed at it. Nowadays, besides the lighthouse tower and two-storey dwelling house, there is a local heat network, and the lighthouse has reliable electric power supply aggregates.

Lighthouse Bilosarais'kyi
Geographic coordinates:
Latitude – 46°52.9' N
Longitude – 37°19.5' Е
Tower height from the basement – 21 m
Light elevation above the Sea level – 21 m
Light visibility range – 14 miles

That is the oldest lighthouse on the Azov Sea coast. It was mounted on the north-western end of Bilosarais'kyi Beak which was extended into the sea north-westwards from the port of Mariupol. The construction of the Bilosarais'kyi lighthouse was started on April 16, 1835, and it began functioning in 1836.

The lighthouse had been built rather professionally. The piles driven at a great depth served as its basement. The tower had five storeys with a lantern on the last one. The lantern had a catoptric lighting unit of 14 lamps and reflectors. The lighthouse gave a white light providing the visibility range of about 9.8 miles.

The building high quality is evidenced by the fact that even 40 years later (1875) it was noted in the inspection certificate that"... the tower is in the excellent state and can serve long to mariners. The only problem is the change of the lighting unit by more advanced one and reconstruction of personnel dwelling premises which have gone out of repair".

In 1878, 1890, 1902 the lighthouse equipment was renewed. A new annex for personnel appeared in its territory, as well as the steam siren which cautioned about danger; there also appeared a new light-optical unit with a gas-heated lamp that increased the light brightness.

The lighthouse has survived in the First World war and the Civil war, but was ruined during the Great Patriotic war. However, in 1955 its former appearance was renewed, and the outdated navigation device changed. A bit later, in 1973, a nautophone and automated diesel-generator were installed at the lighthouse; and in 1979 there appeared an automated navigation radio beacon (AHPM-50). The lighthouse was also equipped with a group of radar reflectors and a racon-transponder (1986).

Nowadays, the Bilosarais'kyi lighthouse gives white light which is darkened. The tower is lighted with a projector.


The sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosiia, Yalta, Yevpatoriia are closed until the restoration of the constitutional order of Ukraine within the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol that are temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation (in accordance with the Order of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on June 16, 2014, No. 255).