The False Lights of Britain
February 17th, 2014 by Piper Smith
To recap, the False lights were intentional ploys by wreckers to lure unsuspecting cargo and merchant ships into reefs and rocky shoals. Wreckers would often tie lanterns around the necks of horses or mules and walk them up and down the coastline to confuse incoming ships. No not only were the false lights of wrecking present in the Floridian Keys, but they also occurred in Devon and Cornwall, England! These rocky coastlines were very unfriendly to ships and had strong, prevailing onshore winds that would wreck many ships. But there are rumors that these ships were also deliberately attracted into strong wind paths and rocky shallows! In fact, in 1735, a law was passed by the British government that made using false lights illegal.