Warning for boaters after Kiama Lighthouse fails in bad weather

The inside of the Kiama Lighthouse (left), which went out after water got in during Friday night's storms. Pictures: NSW Martime
The inside of the Kiama Lighthouse (left), which went out after water got in during Friday night's storms. Pictures: NSW Martime

The historic Kiama Lighthouse will operate as a shadow of its usual self for the next few weeks after the beacon failed during Friday night’s torrential downpour.

The lighthouse, which has withstood the elements on Blowhole Point since 1887, was plunged into darkness after the heavy rain caused water to enter the lantern room via a window seal.

Seventy-nine millimetres of rain was recorded in Kiama between 6pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday; 21.8mm fell in 30 minutes. 

NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) crews were called in to fix the outage. 

“A temporary light, with a reduced range of nine nautical miles, was installed on Saturday,” an RMS spokeswoman said.

“Vessel operators are advised to take extra care while navigating near the shoreline until the special light can be permanently fixed.”

The repairs are expected to take about 12 weeks.

The RMS has issued a notice to mariners about the temporary change.

Dark clouds build over Wollongong City beach on Friday, ahead of the arrival of slow-moving thunderstorms. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Dark clouds build over Wollongong City beach on Friday, ahead of the arrival of slow-moving thunderstorms. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Lightning at Unanderra on Friday night. Lingering storms dumped 55mm of rain in an hour at nearby Mount Kembla. Picture: Adam McLean

Lightning at Unanderra on Friday night. Lingering storms dumped 55mm of rain in an hour at nearby Mount Kembla. Picture: Adam McLean