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Old 19-07-2015, 09:12   #1
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Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

From the Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society:
"Lighthouse vandalized yesterday, window broken and winder stolen! We have good reason to believe that the vandals may be a part of a flotilla currently traveling throught Abaco. Three young adult males and two females were seen at the top of the lighthouse tower at approximately 4:10PM yesterday afternoon with one of them putting themselves in danger by climbing from the lower gallery railing to the upper gallery walkway and running around the upper gallery. All we ask is that whoever stole this important item please return it to any business owner in Abaco and ask them to leave us a Facebook message. Be advised, the item stolen belongs to the Bahamian Government and therefore the people of Abaco and The Bahamas.
Today is a very sad day for us. Now this wonderful icon must be locked in the daytime. The days of sharing our national treasure freely with our visitors are over."


From Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society:
Other irreplaceable objects were thrown from the top of the lighthouse. It can not remain open at this time. The lens itself (if it were to have been damaged) can not be replaced - ever.


From member "GTC 4 Life" : I follow along with a bunch of different boating people and the people of Seahunter Center Consoles was having a Poker Run around the Abacos this week so keep an eye out for them around the island. Unreal that this would happen"



Seahunter Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/SeaHunterBoats


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Old 19-07-2015, 09:16   #2
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

That is horrendous, what is wrong with people? I am sorry to hear of this, I hope you are able to find the responsible parties and they are made to answer for their actions.
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Old 20-07-2015, 08:43   #3
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

I read where they found the Winder.


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Old 20-07-2015, 10:11   #4
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
That is horrendous, what is wrong with people? I am sorry to hear of this, I hope you are able to find the responsible parties and they are made to answer for their actions.


I agree.

I love lighthouses, and as an artist they have always been one of my favorite subjects. I have spent many hours visiting them, studying them, drawing them, and painting them over many years. They continue to fascinate me, especially the oldest and the odd ones. As architectural structures, they are interesting. As examples of optics they are outstanding.

Every one of them is worthy of some respect and has historical value.

My view is: Lighthouses, whether in use, manned, unmanned, or even inoperable, are part of the maritime collective heritage of every sailor and should not be vandalized by anyone, but if sailors did this, they should be keelhauled!
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Old 20-07-2015, 10:18   #5
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

I guess, I am old fashioned, I was raised that if it did not belong to me, keep my hands off of it. With something like this the light house is part of our maritime history, and deserves respect as you said.
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Old 20-07-2015, 10:52   #6
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

Really sad situation. I hope it wasn't some Americans who did that although I fear that it is.

Hopetown light is the only one I have ever actually walked to the top of. The light house keepers are a friendly bunch and often ferry visitors back and forth across the harbor.
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Old 20-07-2015, 12:44   #7
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

For those of you who have not been there, it's a pretty special place. It's one of only a few lighthouses left in the world that is hand-wound (about every four hours, all night long).

The rumor mill has it that a certain manufacturer of go-fast, center console fishing boats (based in Princeton, Florida) was holding a poker-run in the area, and that the perpetrators were crew from one of the boats.

It's too bad if it is true -they seemed like a fun group of folks, and the boats are beautiful (if you're into that sort of vessel). But, even if untrue, the locals are pretty protective, and I doubt anyone owning a boat of that brand would ever be very welcome again in Hope Town Harbour.

Another case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.
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Old 24-07-2015, 15:54   #8
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

To all members,
As a long time boater and visitor to the Bahamas and the Abacos in specific it is with great sadness that I read these posts. I personally was the guide on this rendezvouse in the large 45' Seahunter w tower. We had 18 boats with us and over 200 people attended.
What I can tell you is that almost all the members in our flotilla were families with young children aboard (30 children attended under the age of 13). There were families from as far away as Trinidad to the south and Louisiana to the north. Many of the families were from Florida and most were first time visitors to the Abacos.
Not once during our trip did any official or resident inform me or anyone in our group about an alleged incident at the lighthouse. We were there until Tuesday, July 21 and we were very easy to find. I'm sure in a group of that size that there were instances where radios may have been too loud but not once did I observe anyone in our group committing behavior that would have been unexpected or unappreciated by the average boater in the Bahamas.
I even had my seven month old son on the trip with me and my family. So I can assure you there was no unruly behavior around our organized events.
As a group we travelled the Abacos for 6 days and easily spent over $150,000 in the local economy. All in a family atmosphere. Sure there were parties and drinking but well within reason.
Not once did officials come by and ask. Here I am on a Friday evening answering to a public forum over something that I have no information or proof about.
Is there any proof that whoever did this was a member of our group? Can we at least start there?
I can't control what an individual does in our boats. With over 1000 boats on the water it would be impossible to know every owner and their actions but if you look at the pictures on line you will see exactly how many families were in our group.
Again, my email is attached and if anyone wants to communicate with me feel free. As a father and a boater I don't condone the actions that we are being accused of so I will assist if there is proof that any of our members were involved.
Eddie
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Old 25-07-2015, 10:02   #9
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

Welcome to the forum Eddie, I am not aware of anyone pointing out a specific group and laying the blame on them. Nor has anyone been named as the guilty party. Everyone here is concerned with the degradation of a land mark like that, we all hope it wasn't an citizen of the USA, largely because it only takes a few bad apples to color us all as bad guys.
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Old 30-07-2015, 13:36   #10
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Re: Hope Town (Elbow Reef) Lighthouse Vandalized

Posted today by the Elbow Reef Lighthouse Society:

"Vandalism Update: Good news! Many thanks to the GREAT team work of dedicated ERLS team members and other Elbow Reef Lighthouse Supporters, the vandals have been positively identified as a group of teenagers traveling with the SeaHunter boat flotilla that was recently in Abaco. As a result, the ERLS has been in direct contact with the leader of the SeaHunter flotilla as well as the parents of the teenagers and the teenagers themselves. We have received sincere apology letters from all of them, with the promise to pay for all of the damages as well as continue to support the work of the ERLS in the future. Yes, the vandalism was wrong, however we thank the SeaHunter group for joining us in the team effort to right a wrong in a positive manner. Some quotes from the letters received:
From the captain of the vessel involved and father of one of the teenagers: "Please accept my apology for being the Captain of my vessel and allowing teenagers to enter the Lighthouse. Both teenagers will be liable for any damages done to the Lighthouse and also they will write an apology letter to the Lighthouse Society. Please forward me the cost of repairs and any other cost involved. We have to teach our children to respect and appreciate the beauty of history monuments! Not to destroy it! Our family apologizes to the Abaco Residents for any inconvenience they have caused."
From one of the mothers: "It is with sincere regrets and embarrassment that I'm writing you today to apologize for my son's actions at the lighthouse on July 17th. My son was a guest on a Sea Hunter boat trip to the Abacos and I'm shocked and appalled at his behavior. As a former member of the Detroit Institute of Arts and my interactions with historical societies in that state, I'm fully aware of the efforts and undertakings that go into the preservation and upkeep of a historical monument. I will assist the ERLS in any way I can to amend his actions."
From one of the teenagers: "I am giving my sincerest apologies for the actions that took place at the lighthouse. I know that throwing the winder down the lighthouse was a cruel thing to do and that lighthouses, especially ones such as Elbow Reef are to be treasured. I will never look at another lighthouse the same way again, my apologies go to all the people that keep the lighthouse in the good shape it is currently in."
From the other teenagers: "Please accept our sincere apology for having vandalized such a beautiful historical site. We had no reason to destroy the lighthouse nor take parts that are essential to
making the lighthouse function. Our actions were immature and childish and we are truly embarrassed about this situation."
Again, yes, the vandalism was wrong, however we thank the SeaHunter group and the parents of the teenagers involved for joining us in the team effort to right a wrong in a positive manner."
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