Watch: Lighthouse Radar Mast Removed by Helicopter
Finish company Meritaito worked with the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Defense Forces to remove Tankar lighthouse's old radar mast and maintenance level. The radar engine has been out of service for several years as there is a new, modern VTS mast nearby. With the removal of the old mast, Tankar's lighthouse was also returned to its original condition.
Tankar is one of Finland's most important lighthouse islands in terms of tourism. The lighthouse was built in 1889. The tower, which is covered with metal plates, was constructed without landings and its spiral staircase has 122 steps. The beacon is 27.5 metres (90 feet) above ground level. The lighting element, which was manufactured in Henry Lepaute’s factory in Paris, was one of the most powerful of its time – its beam carried for 13 nautical miles.
In the summer of 1903, a mechanical fog signalling device was obtained for Tankar. In heavy fog conditions audible signals were also given using small dynamite charges. The charge had to be detonated every ten minutes for as long as the fog persisted. Sometimes the fog would not lift for weeks.
The lighthouse was converted to electrical operation in 1961, which also more than doubled the range of the beam to 27.5 nautical miles. The lighthouse is still operational and is one of Finland’s brightest lighthouses.