LOCATION OF LUSHINGTON SHOAL – OFF OKHA PORT IN MID-SEA
Lushington Shoal is located north west of Okha at the mouth of Gulf of Kachchh (Lat. 220 38’ N Long. 680 47’E) which consists of shallow patches. The shoal is not marked and is a great danger to navigation. The shoal is subjected to strong tidal waves and currents. At the time of independence, the hazards of this shoal were so serious that the British Admiralty contemplated declaring the whole area of Gulf of Kachchh and its approaches as a danger to shipping. It was then decided to mark the shoal by constructing either a Lighthouse or mooring a light vessel. Since the technology at that time was in its infancy, the proposal although approved by the Govt., could not be implemented. When VLCCs/ULCCs started playing for catering to Mathura Refinery in late seventies, the Department marked a 70 NM deep-water channel by laying deep-sea lighted buoys down South from Mithapur to Vadinar. VLCCs/ ULCCs are taking this route for all the (Single Point Mooring) SPMs and Refineries set up in the Gulf.
If the Lushington Shoal is marked, the VLCCs coming to Gulf of Kachchh can directly take the route from west instead of coming down South and then follow the Deep Water Channel. This would reduce the distance by about 30 Nautical Miles and also save on time and fuel. With the establishment of a light at Lushington Shoal, the Directorate contemplates to mark another Deep Water Channel at 10-20 NM West of Lushington Shoal. This will meet the existing Deep Water Channel North of Gurur Shoal and shall facilitate safe movement of VLCCs.
In view of the above, the Directorate is planning to establish a powerful light having 15nm range. The proposed lighthouse tower would be a circular steel tower of 30m above mean sea level. The lighting equipment is proposed to be operating on solar energy. The working time available on shoal is around 5 months (October to March); the scheme is likely to take about 3 years for completion.
With the past experience in construction of RCC Lighthouse tower superstructure in remote locations at main-land and considering the location of Lushington shoal which is at mid-sea, it is proposed to have a steel tower superstructure which can be prefabricated in main-land and easily erected at site in mid sea.