PEI

Beach Point lighthouse may be scrapped

Residents of Beach Point, P.E.I., are urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to repair the community's lighthouse by the start of the fishing season.
The Beach Point lighthouse has fallen into disrepair over the winter. (CBC)

Residents of Beach Point, P.E.I., are urging the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to repair the community's lighthouse by the start of the fishing season.

Residents say it's an important part of the community, but was damaged and left lying on its side after pre-Christmas storm surges. DFO officials said it was not clear if the building could be returned to the point.

George MacLeod, a life-long resident of the eastern P.E.I. community, said he would like to see the lighthouse restored.

"It makes me sad because it's been a big part of the community all of my life, and [of] the people before," he said.

The lighthouse was swept away in December. DFO dragged it back to land and left it on the beach. The paint is chipped off and it has fallen into disrepair following a winter spent lying on the sand.

MacLeod, a lobster fisherman, said his father used to tend the lighthouse and that 150 boats pass the point daily in fishing season. Those without GPS rely on the lighthouse to avoid the point of land.

Tourist attraction

He said it's also something of a draw for visitors to the village.

"We don't have a lot to offer in the village, but that is one of our attractions," he said. "If we could just get it back up again, most people would be grateful, I think."

MacLeod said he hopes DFO decides what to do with the lighthouse before the May 1 start of the lobster season.

Lily Baker, who is also a life-long resident of Beach Point, is a member of the local women's institute, which had discussed saving the lighthouse.

"The women that were at the meeting, they all thought it would be nice to have it there, but like I said, we couldn't justify spending the money," she said.  

DFO said the lighthouse might not go back up at all because there might not be enough land left to support it.

Officials will be dispatched to assess the lighthouse situation next month.

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