Watch these lighthouse keepers risk their lives to switch shifts

There aren’t many lighthouse keepers left in the world, and this video is a good example of why.

In the midst of a raging sea, a stoic captain desperately tries to keep his ship from smashing into the base of a lighthouse. Meanwhile, workers change places using a dangerous and unpredictable rope system. Why they didn’t wait for a nicer day is beyond us, but certainly it makes for an exciting video.

The whole point of a lighthouse is to warn ships away from rocky outcroppings during storms, so you can bet that the life of a lighthouse keeper is lonely and dangerous. Lighthouses are situated in some of the most unpredictable areas, and provide a vital role. If their light stops shining, many lives could be lost.

The lighthouse in this video is called La Jument, and was upgraded to be fully automated in 1991. So thankfully, these kinds of stunts are no longer required for a changing of the guard.

In fact, the only countries that still operate a handful of staffed lighthouses are Italy and our very own homeland of Canada (though the Canadian Coast Guard has plans to automate them). So if you were thinking you might want to experience the full fury of nature like the keeper in photographer Jean Guichard’s famous photo below, there’s still hope.