|Vinh Thuc Lighthouse on Vinh Thuc island, Mong Cai City, Quang Ninh province.
Nguyen Dinh Vuong, one of the 9 keepers of Vinh Thuc lighthouse, has started his work at 7 am everyday for the last 15 years. He is responsible for fuel, transportation, the weather report, and lighthouse maintenance. At around 11 am, he and his team provide maintenance to the generator, battery and solar power system, then perform some industrial cleaning.
Years of working high up with harsh sunlight and sea winds have left their mark on the visage of the Hanoi-born worker. Thinking back to his first days, the biggest challenge for Vuong and his team were the stormy nights. The night shift was a test of courage due to the danger of being in a lighting strike zone. But after some time, they all got used to it. Vuong said they often feel lonely out there, especially during holidays or Tet, but everyone understands each other’s homesickness even if no words are spoken.
"Sometimes tourist groups come to visit us. Although busy with our daily tasks, everyone is happy to welcome guests. Such small moments of happiness helps us conquer our homesickness and continue our job in this remote area," said Vuong.
|Vu Van Dung is Head of Vinh Thuc lighthouse’s keeper team.
Vu Van Dung from Hai Phong, head of Vinh Thuc lighthouse’s keeper team, asks the team to keep the lights on in any weather conditions or circumstances. They need to check the light regularly and stay prepared for any situations.
"It’s our job and it has become a part of our life. We’re determined to work even on national holidays," said Dung.
The lighthouses not only illuminate waterways at night, they also represent the maritime sovereignty of Vietnam. The lighthouses bring hope and spirit to fishermen and ship drivers, even in the worst weather conditions.
"To me, the lighthouse is like the traffic light of the sea, very useful during bad weather. We cant navigate ships without it, because we use the light to locate our ship. Seeing the lighthouse means we’re close to the island," said Nguyen Van Thang, a fisherman from Vinh Thuc island.
"I admire all lighthouse keepers. They must really love their job. They even work without a single day off. This lighthouse is an inseparable part of this island and it gives me a sense of pride and love for my hometown," said Le Thu Huong, a fisherwoman.