Coast Guard Warns of Unsafe Florida Keys Reef Lighthouses

The Coast Guard is warning mariners to not climb historical reef lights in the Florida Keys because of deterioration and unsound structural integrity.

These lights include: Alligator Reef; American Shoal Reef; Carysfort Reef; Sand Key Reef; and Sombrero Key Reef Light.

While these structures are not at risk of collapsing, they are unsafe for climbing.

Boaters are prohibited from tying to, climbing, anchoring to or trespassing on any aid to navigation.

Because of extensive deterioration of the structures, cost to repair them and the inability to safely maintain them as navigational aids, the Coast Guard plans to shift current lighting from Alligator, American Shoal and Sombrero Key Reef lights to more cost-effective structures with more reliable lighting equipment.

The original structures will not be removed. Conversions of Carysfort and Sand Key Reef lights have been completed.

The new lights cost an estimated $100,000 each; estimates to repair the existing historic structures would have cost taxpayers approximately $2 million a light, according to the Coast Guard.

For information call Lt. j.g. Peter Bermont at 305-292-8744.FRLHreefLg FRLH2lg CRLHreefLg ARLH3lg SRLH2lg SRLHreefLg