New buoy will replace the Lightvessel to guide boats and track weather in the Channel

  • Video report by Sophia Bird

A new buoy will replace the decades-old Lightvessel to guide boats and collect weather information in the Channel.

Advancements in technology mean systems that once needed a large vessel can now be carried on a much smaller buoy.

The Lightvessel was brought in following the 1978 Amoco Cadiz disaster, where a tanker hit the rocks after its steering failed.

It caused a massive oil spillage and around 300,000 seabirds were killed or injured.

Around 300,000 seabirds were killed or injured after the Amoco Cadiz oil spill. Credit: ITV Channel TV

The Channel Lightvessel will be decommissioned after more than 40 years of service.

Its replacement, a large buoy, will continue weather monitoring all year round - including collecting wave measurements in the sea for the first time. This data will be published once the Met Office verifies it is accurate.

The buoy will still act as a point of reference and be lit up when dark to help guide boats in the area.

The buoy will continue weather monitoring all year round and act as a navigation aid for boats. Credit: Trinity House

The new system will also be more environmentally friendly as the navigational light only needs nine watts of power from an LED source that lasts a decade. This, combined with developments in solar-powered batteries, means fewer trips are needed for maintenance.

It will operate on a roaming 4G network, with satellite fallback if needed.