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Erected on Cape Dombey in 1852, the Obelisk was used to navigate the entrance to Guichen Bay and to store rocket lifesaving equipment. The firing of rockets, carrying baskets to distressed ships to bring passengers ashore, saved many lives. It later assisted passing ships with navigation because its height of 12m (40 ft) makes it visible 20km (12mles) out to sea.

The erosion of the land surrounding the obelisk will mean it will eventually fall away.

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