Antigua is a small, ruggedly beautiful Caribbean island, located in the leeward islands of the West Indies. It is 108 square miles with a 54 mile coastline. The island has a deep connection to the sea and a reputation for a populace with vast commercial shipping expertise from its early trading history. Its beauty and reputation have helped build Antigua’s reputation as a regional trade hub, especially of petroleum products. It is also a welcoming and growing cruise ship, yachting, and tourist destination due to its natural beauty.
The island is renowned for some of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean and its lure of beauty and relaxation have helped grow regional trade and tourism. The Antigua Port Authority, who is responsible for port infrastructure and services, undertook major dredge projects on Antigua’s west coast to expand navigation channels for the increased number and size of tankers carrying petroleum products. New navigation aids were required to help marine pilots better identify the new ship channels to safely guide vessels to the petroleum terminals.
Through Sealite’s Caribbean distributor, RSD Contracting Concepts, Ltd., in Trinidad, a complete harbor marking solution was designed and installed to support marine pilots with expanded ship maneuvers. Antigua’s new west coast ship channels received 14 new buoys: Sealite’s SL-B1750 Ocean Buoys, Sealite’s SL-B1500 and SL-B1250 Buoys.
Sealite’s Solar LED Marine Lanterns were also a part of the new Aid to Navigation (AtoN) harbor marking solution installed by RSD Contracting. The SL-70 2-3NM lanterns included optional GPS Flash Synchronization which allows them to flash in unison for clearer identification of navigation channels and hazards.
Another part of the channel upgrades going into the petroleum products terminal included a solar powered 5° Sectored Port Entry Light (PEL-5). With a range of 5 nautical mile daytime visibility/10 nautical mile night visibility, Sealite’s LED PEL-5 helped assist pilots with night berthing as well as safe unberthing. As the PEL-5 is completely solar powered, it does not rely on the island’s electrical grid, thereby minimizing operational costs and maintenance.
Sealite’s high precision sectored Port Entry Lights (PEL), provide measurable light changeover on harbor approach to help precisely identify channel boundaries. 32 different intensities and 256+ flash characteristics can be user selected to offset potentially confusing background light. Remote GSM monitoring and GPS synchronization are important options for challenging port approaches. A 10° sectored PEL is also available.
Sealite’s AtoNs which were installed by RSD Contracting have helped safely increase petroleum imports, bolster the local economy, increase safety to vessels, crews and the environment, and increase local job opportunities for island residents.
“Sealite streamlined the purchase process by allowing us to buy all our Aids to Navigation from one vendor. Their marking solution was the best fit for our customer.”
— Michael Touissant, Managing Director, RDS Contracting Concepts, Trinidad
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