Scattered across the South China Sea are nearly 1,400 islands, and to help guide sailors pass safely through them, 12 lighthouses have been shining their lights for generations. A family trade that has been passed down for up to five generations, lighthouse keepers are to many, invisible heroes who have kept sailors and ships safe for more than 150 years.
Qiliyu Lighthouse assistant keeper, Ye Chaoqun, has been keeping his lighthouse in ship shape condition for the last 6 years, but it is a craft his great grandfather did more than 130 years before him. Although due to modernization, the workload these days is lighter, Ye must still maintain and clean the glass and the machines on a daily basis. In his father’s day, the 360-degree rotation of the lighthouse’s lamp required manual winding, a dangerous task during storms and typhoons, it needed to be done every hour. Ye Zhongyang, the 3rd lighthouse keeper of the Ye’s, reminisces about the risks and difficulties of life in the old days as a lighthouse-keeper. “We had a slogan amongst us … as long as we are alive, the light cannot go out.” “The lighthouse was the gateway to the country.”
The family passion of the Ye family after five generations has not dimmed, and neither have the lighthouses they guard.
Video Source: Shanghai Live