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The semaphore of Carteret watches tirelessly over the Cotentin seafront

The semaphore of Carteret watches tirelessly over the Cotentin seafront

In collaboration with the Jobourg CROSS (Regional Operations Center for Surveillance and Rescue) and the Maritime Operations Centre in Cherbourg, this maritime surveillance building, the semaphore of Carteret watches tirelessly over 70 km (43.5 mi) of coastal area from  Agon Point to Cape Flamanville.

Attentive listening 7 days a week

Listening to distress frequencies, spotting and identifying floating objects, informing the authorities of illicit trafficking, monitoring the movements of boats and informing sailors: the watchmen work closely with the Jobourg CROSS and the Maritime Operations Centre in Cherbourg. The Carteret semaphore participates in the broadest sense in the protection of human life at sea through the monitoring of the body of water and ensures the protection of maritime traffic.

The shor and long story of the semaphore

The term "semaphore" means "which carries signals". It originally refers to an apparatus with articulated arms that allowed communication with ships. Listed starting in 1806, it is in 1859 that we officially date the presence of a semaphore in Carteret. Destroyed on 28 April 1944 by an allied squadron during the Second World War, it was rebuilt in 1984 by the French Navy. Its mission: to complete the chain of watch posts that provide coastal surveillance of the maritime District of Cherbourg. In this very busy place, it is part of a set of fourteen semaphores installed by the French Navy on the Manche and North Sea seafront, from Mont Saint-Michel to the Belgian border.

Its organization has been well established for more than 30 years

At the semaphore of Carteret, there are three watchmen (men or women) working each day, with a shift chief, a deputy and an operator. The pace of work is well regulated: a day of service, a day of rest and a day of backup. Surveillance can be done with various optical means: binoculars but also navigation radars, the naval maritime surveillance system "Spationav" or VHF radios.

From the height of 65 meters (213 ft), the semaphore offers a breathtaking view of the beaches, the dunes of Hatainville, the Channel Islands and allows one to keep a watchful eye on the activity of fishermen, boaters, kitesurfers attracted in numbers by this exceptional territory.

Semaphore de Carteret - 50270 Barneville-Carteret
c) DR-Préfecture maritime De La Manche

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