Historical information

The ‘Resumatic’ brand, British made, lightweight device comprises a red pulley with attached length of white rope and harness. Information on the item indicates that it was the property of the Department of Transport, Australia. The Commonwealth Lighthouse Service was associated with the Department of Shipping and Transport in 1951 and the Navigational Aids Branch of the Department of Transport in 1972 so the harness may date to this period. The easily operated descent device was used for automatic, controlled descents from overhead structures, such as towers and other buildings and did not require a power source
or tools. The user needed to make sure the unit is secured to an anchor point so that the cable could be dropped to the ground. As soon as it was secured the user could put on the support harness, step off the edge and travel down to safety. The device complements a number of other items of rescue equipment held in the wider Parks Victoria lightstation collection which attest to the dangers inherent in lightstation work and necessity for first aid kits, resuscitators, life buoys, life jackets and other devices such as harnesses and pulleys used for moving people. These include a bosun’s chair and harness with pulley,
Royal Flying Doctor first aid cabinet, resuscitator kit and case, first aid kit, lifebuoy and cork fragments x 4 all in the Gabo Island collection; a rescue basket, resuscitation kit and case, and pulleys and ropes at Cape Otway; rescue stretcher made of bamboo at Wilsons Promontory; and a rescue anchor at Cape Schanck. The Cape Nelson rescue harness, although unique in the broader lightstation collection, is a relatively common device that is still manufactured more or less the same in England.


It has second level contributory significance for offering insights into the various methods used in rescue operations by Victoria’s lightstations.

Physical description

Length of white rope attached to a harness and a red pully device.

Inscriptions & markings