is a type of flat-bottomed barge
used to transfer goods and passengers to and from moored ships. Lighters were traditionally unpowered and were moved and steered using long oars called "sweeps," with their motive power provided by water currents. They were operated by highly skilled workers called lightermen
and were a characteristic sight in London's docks
until about the 1960s, when technological changes made lightering
The name itself is of uncertain origin, but is believed to possibly derive from an old Dutch
(to lighten or unload). In Dutch, the word lichter
is still used for (smaller) ships that take over goods from larger ships.
The word lighter
is still used in the modern ship type: Lighter Aboard Ship
The lighter barge gave rise to the "Lighter Tug" - a small, maneuverable type of harbour tug
. Lighter Tugs (themselves often simply referred to as "lighters") are designed for towing lighter barges. As such, they are smaller than a traditional harbour tug and lack the power or equipment to handle large ships.
Lighters, albeit powered ones, were proposed to be used in 2007 at Port Lincoln
in South Australia
to load Capesize
ships which are too big for the shallower waters nearer the shore.Hong Kong
widely uses lighters in the midstream operations whereby lighters bring cargo, mostly containers, between different ocean going... Read More