Aids to Navigation in Estonia

There are approximately 15,000 lighthouses in the world, 360 around the Baltic Sea, and 41 lighthouses and 218 light beacons in Estonia.

Also, we have a number of historical lighthouses and other navigational marks which are no longer in active use but are of interest from the point of view of the history of seafaring or architecture (for example, the lighthouses at Laidunina, Kiipsaare or Käsmu).

At the moment, 11 lighthouses have been opened for the public - SõrveKõpuVormsi (Saxby)RistnaTahkunaPakriRuhnuKihnuSuurupi front and rearOsmussaarNaissaar, and Vilsandi.

Database of Aids to Navigation

Buoys and Spar Buoys

  • The shoals, wrecks and other obstacles on fairways are marked with cardinal marks (according to cardinal directions), i.e. buoys and spar buoys. They indicate the dangerous area and show in which compass direction they ought to be passed. Buoys may also be equipped with lights.
  • In order to mark fairways, lateral marks are used (e.g. starboard light buoys, port spar buoys). The buoys and spar buoys of the cardinal marks indicate the direction of safety relative to the mark to pass obstacles. Lateral marks indicate the edge of the safe water channel in the direction from the sea to the coast.

    Lateral marks:
    These buoys show the position of a channel or fairway relative to the course of the ship.
    The arrow shows the direction towards the port or "from bigger water to smaller water", and depending on the direction of movement, the mark ought to be kept to the appropriate side of the ship as shown in the figure.

Lights on Sea Marks

Fixed light shines continuously.

Occulting light the opposite of the flashing light because it shines longer than it is dark.

Isophase light the duration of the light and the duration of the darkness are equal, the interval is the sum of the light and dark added.

Flashing light ithe duration of the light is shorter than the duration of the darkness, the frequency of flashes does not exceed 30 times per minute.

Long-flashing light at least 2 seconds, the light always shines for a shorter period than it is dark.

Group-flashing light three flashes and a pause.

Quick light the light always shines for a shorter period than it is dark, the frequency of flashes is at least 60 times per minute.

Group quick light


Last updated: 09.09.2021