Cape Race

Cape Race

Location map|Newfoundland
lat_deg = 46
lat_min = 39
lat_sec = 31.43
lon_deg = 53
lon_min = 04
lon_sec = 22.27
label = Cape Race
position = left
caption = Location of Cape Race in Newfoundland

Cape Race is a point of land located at the southeastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. Its name is thought to come from the original Portuguese name for this cape, "Raso", or "bare". The Cape appeared on early sixteenth century maps as Cape Raso and its name may derive from a cape of the same name at the mouth of the Tagus River in Portugal.


Dense fogs, rocky coasts, and its proximity to trans-Atlantic shipping routes have resulted in many shipwrecks near Cape Race over the years. One of the most famous was the SS|Arctic. Cape Race is a flat barren point of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, its cliffs rising nearly vertically to 30.5 m (100 ft) above sea level. On average it is shrouded in fog on 158 days of the year. Located next to Trepassey.



caption = The second Cape Race Lighthouse from 1907
location = Southeastern Newfoundland
coordinates =
yearbuilt = 1907
yearlit =
automated =
yeardeactivated =
foundation =
construction = Concrete
shape = Cylindrical
marking = White with red lantern
height = convert|29|m|0|ft
elevation = convert|52|m|0|ft
lens = Hyperradiant Fresnel by Chance Brothers
currentlens =
intensity =
range = 24 nautical miles
characteristic = Fl. 7.5s
fogsignal = Horn (2) 60s
admiralty =H0444
NGA =1904

In 1856, the first lighthouse was installed by the British Government's Trinity House. It was a cast iron tower with a coal oil lamp turned by clockwork. It was replaced in 1907 by a 29 metres tall concrete tower and a light with a massive hyperradiant Fresnel lens made by Chance Brothers in England. The original lighthouse was then moved to Cape North; it now stands in front of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. The light's characteristic is a single white flash every 7.5 seconds, additionally a foghorn may sound a signal of two blasts every 60 seconds. There is also a high-power LORAN-C transmitter at Cape Race, whose mast was until the completion of CN Tower the tallest structure of Canada.


From 1859 to 1866, the New York City Associated Press kept a newsboat at Cape Race to meet ocean liners passing by on their way from Europe so that news could be telegraphed to New York. These news items carried the byline "via Cape Race".

In 1904, the first wireless station in Newfoundland was built at Cape Race. This was the major land-based locations that received the distress call from the RMS "Titanic", the other being, at least according to legend, the Marconi telegraph station on top of the Wanamaker's department store in New York City. On the night the "Titanic" sank, wireless operator Jack Phillips was sending telegraphs to Cape Race for relay to New York City. When Cyril Evans, wireless operator of the SS "Californian", sent an iceberg warning to the "Titanic", only a few miles away, Phillips was annoyed with the loud signal (due to the proximity) and responded “Shut up, Shut up, I’m working Cape Race.” This would become a famous incident, as the bored Evans soon went to sleep, and "Titanic" hit an iceberg only fifteen minutes later. After "Titanic's" distress call, Cape Race played a major role in relaying news of the sinking to other ships and land locations.


*cite web|url=|author=Rowlett, Russ|title=The Lighthouse Directory|accessdate=July 24|accessyear=2008

External links

* [ Cape Race Wireless log at sinking of "Titanic" preserved at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax]

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