Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn has explained that an upgraded signalling facility is being situated atop of the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, as part of the navigational aid for vessels leaving and entering Port Georgetown.
The Minister, during the observance of World Maritime Day yesterday, noted that a glass-enclosed facility is fixed at the top of the hotel, and is the property of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).
Minister Benn explained that already, the new facility has a new strobe light and other lighthouse facilities.
“At the top of the Marriott there is a glass enclosure and a light that is already there, which is a new strobe lighting, and other facilities with respect to the lighthouse. The officials and experts from MARAD, along with the people from the Marriott and NICIL (National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited) identified new upgraded lighting facilities which had to be installed with respect to this issue,” the Minister informed.
He reiterated that the glass cubical and all its fixtures would be a MARAD facility.
Outside of that, Minister Benn pointed out significant improvement in navigational equipment. He noted that maritime navigation has been enhanced with devices such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and other advanced locating equipment. He said ships have better positioning systems where they can determine their geographical position in relation to channels, threats or shipwrecks.
“The position where we are now atop of the Marriott is an improvement; not only the position and the height, but also in the technology and equipment that would be used.” However, radio and other communication equipment will still be based at the lighthouse.
The 103-ft. high lighthouse has a light that revolves every sixty seconds and is visible some sixteen miles offshore. It was believed that with the construction of the Marriott Hotel, the relevance of this facility would have diminished. It was suggested that the blocking of the facility would have posed danger and created problems for mariners. The government did indicate that a new facility would have been placed atop the Marriot Hotel.
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