Lighthouses of Suriname
Suriname, the former Dutch Guiana, is an independent nation
on the north coast of South America, located between Guyana to the west
and French Guiana to the east. Although it was colonized first by the
British Suriname was conquered by the Netherlands in 1667 and remained
a Dutch colony until it became independent in 1975.
Remarkably, the shores of Suriname shelter the remains of three historic
lightships. Thanks to Iris Klempau and Michel Forand for researching these
Dutch remains the official language in Suriname although an English-based creole is commonly used. The Dutch word for a lighthouse is vuurtoren; hoek is a cape, and rivier is a river. The country has two ports, Paramaribo and Nieuw Nickerie. Aids to navigation are presumably maintained by the national port authority, Havenbeheer Suriname.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume J of the
Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers
are from Publication 110.
- General Sources
List of Lights - Suriname
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- World of Lighthouses - Suriname
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Lightship Suriname Rivier, Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, February 2014
Flickr Creative Commons
by David Stanley
- Nieuw Nickerie Lighthouse
- Note: Nieuw Nickerie, Suriname's second largest city, is located at the northwestern corner of the country, across the Boven Corantijn River from Guyana.
- #Nickerie Rivier (?)
- Date unknown. Inactive since 2011. 21 m (69 ft) tower, form unknown. No photo available, and the tower is not seen in Google's satellite view of the area. The light was dropped from the NGA List in 2011; it has been replaced in the light lists by an aerobeacon on a communications tower. Located on
a point of land on the west side of the entrance to the Nickerie River,
near Nieuw Nickerie. Site status
unknown, but the area is open and it should not be difficult to locate the light. ARLHS SUR-005; ex-Admiralty J6866; ex-NGA 17356.
Paramaribo Area Lightships
- ** Lightship Suriname 1 (Suriname Rivier)
- 1911 (station established 1858). Decommissioned in 1972. Steel lightship with a round light
tower, lantern and gallery. Ship painted red. David Stanley's photo is at the top of this page, Nicholas Laughlin has a 2009 photo, Vanessa Decort has a 2006 photo, Martijn Baudoin has a 2016 street view, and Google has a satellite view. Michel Forand
documented at least five light vessels known to have served the
Suriname Rivier station off the entrance to Paramaribo, the national
capital. This is believed to be the third. Lightphotos.net has a historic photo of the ship nearing completion in 1910 in the Netherlands. There is another historic photo (2/3 of the way down the page) of the ship, rigged as a sail-driven vessel and with its light tower taken down, leaving the Netherlands for Suriname in 1911. Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the ship on station. In recent years the ship has been righted and partially restored. Located in Fort Nieuw Amsterdam, on the east side of the Suriname River opposite Paramaribo. Site open, and it appears that visitors can walk a plank up on the deck of the vessel. Site manager: Openluchtmuseum Fort Nieuw Amsterdam. ARLHS SUR-004M.
- Lightship Suriname 2 (ex U.S. LV-106/WAL-528)
- 1923 (on station in Suriname from 1968). Decommissioned 1981. 40.3
m (132 ft) 2-masted steel lightship. According to the Lightship Sailors Association's page,
this ship served originally as the Nantucket. After World
War II it was reassigned as a relief lightvessel until 1968, when
it was sold to Suriname. Presently it is an abandoned hulk beached
with its sister ship LV-109 on the Suriname River across from the Overbridge Resort about 50 km (30 mi) south of Paramaribo.
A photo is at right, another photo of the two ships is available, Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the two ships, and Google has a satellite view. Lightphotos.net has Jan Melchers's photo of the ship in U.S. service as the Relief and another photo of the ship on station as the Suriname. Accessible only by boat. Site open,
- Lightship Suriname 3 (ex U.S. LV-109/WAL-531)
- 1923 (on station in Suriname from 1968). 40.3 m (132
ft) 2-masted steel lightship. According to the U.S. Coast Guard Historian this
ship served originally for 30 years as a relief lightvessel. In 1954 it was
assigned as the Savannah and it served briefly (1965-66) as the New Orleans. The subsequent history of the ship has been the source of some confusion. According to J. F. “Jay” McCarthy of the U.S. Lightship Sailors Association the ship was sold in 1967 to Uruguay, where it served for two years as the Banco Inglés. It was then sold to Suriname. It's not known when it was decomissioned. Presently it is an abandoned hulk beached with its sister
ship LV-106 on the Suriname River across from the Overbridge Resort, about 50 km (30 mi) south of Paramaribo.
A photo is at right, another photo of the two ships is available, Lightphotos.net also has a photo of the two ships, and a Google has a satellite view. Accessible only by boat. Site open, vessel
Former U.S. Lightships 106 and 109, Suriname Rivier, July 2009
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by TH22
Maroni River Lighthouse
Galibi (Maroni River) (3)
- Date unknown (station established 1871). Inactive since 2012. 60 m (197 ft) square skeletal tower, mounted on four
concrete piers. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available but Google has a satellite view. The first lighthouse, a 21 m (69 ft) pyramidal tower, was replaced
in 1897 by a 16 m (52 ft) hexagonal skeletal tower. Located at Hoek (Cape)
Galibi on the west side of the entrance to the Maroni River, which forms the
boundary between Suriname and French Guiana. Accessible only by boat. Site
open, tower closed. ARLHS SUR-001; ex-Admiralty J6882; ex-NGA 17400.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Suriname Rivier (1903-?). This was a 15 m (49 ft) white skeletal tower located on the west side of the river mouth. No further information available.
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: East: French Guiana | West: Guyana
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Posted November 30, 2006. Checked and revised March 25, 2019. Lighthouses: 2; lightships: 3. Site copyright 2019 Russ Rowlett and
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.