FRIDAY, JUNE 1: Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse is in a sorry state of disrepair, a tourist complained this week.
Avrel Rose Fernandes, from Ontario, posted a complaint about the tourist attraction on the Bermuda Tourism Facebook page.
She wrote: “As a tourist, I went up there and came back down as soon as I could.”
She claimed it was “unsafe”, adding: “The railing was rusted on the way up as well as at the top of the lighthouse. Something needs to be done to fix this or someone is going to get hurt.”
But Heinz Sievers, who runs the lighthouse and gift shop, says the lighthouse is safe — although he admitted it was overdue a paint and repair job.
Mr Sievers said: “There is no safety issue at all — it’s as solid as a rock. It is rusty and needs to be painted. The people to talk to are Works & Engineering.”
Mr Sievers added that extensive work was done after the 117ft tall structure, the oldest surviving cast iron lighthouse, was damaged during Hurricane Fabian in 2003.
He said: “A paint job is overdue — as far as I know, the Ministry is aware of it.”
The white exterior of the lighthouse also shows clear lines of rust where the cast iron plates join.
The lighthouse opened in 1846 as a navigational beacon to sailors to help them negotiate the treacherous reefs offshore.
Including Gibb’s Hill, the landmark stands 362 feet above sea level and its beam can be seen clearly from ships 40 miles offshore.
The Ministry of Public Works, which includes Works & Engineering, and which is responsible for the lighthouse, did not respond to requests for comment.