As the long winter nights approach, local boating skippers are scratching their heads about a strange change in the noctural appearance of Penarth Pier .
The seaward ends of all piers and jetties around the coast of Britain are obliged at night to display two red lights – one above another – as a warning to mariners. Normally Penarth Pier complies with this requirement ….but not any more.
Penarth’s “navigation” lights however- which are the responsibility of the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council – seem to have been recently switched from red to white – thus placing them in breach of the regulations, and rendering the lights useless as a warning to mariners.
Normally when navigation lights, buoys and markers are changed – even temporarily – it is a legal requirement that an official Admiralty “Notice to Mariners” is issued. This is done whenever so-called “leading lights” or lights on buoys are changed, or become unserviceable.
It’s by no means unknown for boats – and sometimes ships – to collide with Penarth Pier .
Neither the Vale of Glamorgan Council nor the Cardiff Harbour Authority have issued any official Notice to Mariners about the change in colour of the Penarth Pier Lights – leaving both bodies potentially liable to massive claims for damages in the event of a night-time collision .