Truong Sa lighthouses affirm Vietnam's sovereignty over seas and islands

In addition to ensuring maritime safety in the surrounding territorial waters, lighthouses on islands of Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in Truong Sa district of the south central province of Khanh Hoa, have also affirmed Vietnam's sovereignty over seas and islands.

There are currently nine lighthouses on Truong Sa archipelago's islands, namely Son Ca, Nam Yet, Sinh Ton, Da Lat, Da Tay, An Bang, Song Tu Tay, Tien Nu and Truong Sa Lon.

Managed and operated by the East Sea and Islands Maritime Safety Company, the lighthouses are considered as "sovereignty markers" and diligently shine every night to assist and guide ships passing through the area.

The lighthouse on Song Tu Tay was the first to be built in Truong Sa archipelago in 1993.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Xuan Truong, Vice Commander and Chief of Staff of Song Tu Tay island, the lighthouse has helped to ensure safe movements of vessels, asserted Vietnam's sovereignty over seas and islands and made it easier for rescue and search activities at sea.
 
Meanwhile, the lighthouse on Son Ca island was put into operation in August 2010. Head of the Son Ca lighthouse Tran Van Chien said that the lighthouse operates from 5:30pm to 5:30am on the next day.

In any circumstance, the lighthouse is not permitted to stop working as it is not only a guiding point for vessels in the surrounding waters but also the light of national sovereignty at sea, he said.

The lighthouses use electricity sourced from solar power and automatically turn on when it is dark, but there are standby power generators to ensure the lighthouses' operations in any circumstance, especially in prolonged storms or rains. The checking and maintenance of equipment of the lighthouses are conducted regularly.  

The lighthouses are not allowed to stop working – this is an order from the hearts of officials and staff at the lighthouses and naval soldiers on duty at sea and on islands.

Head of the lighthouse on Sinh Ton island Bui Van Son, who has 20 years of experience and 10 years working in lighthouses in Truong Sa island district, said that despite poor working and living conditions on the islands, he has managed to complete his missions with love and responsibility for Vietnam's sovereignty over its sky, seas and islands.

Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Nhu Tuyen, Political Commissar of Son Ca island, said that officials and staff of the Son Ca lighthouse have actively engaged in drills on island protection, contributing to strengthening the combat readiness of the island.

The lighthouse operators in Truong Sa archipelago have worked hard day and night, devoting their youth to ensure that the lighthouses never stop working.

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