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IALA Maritime Buoyage System
BUOYS Buoys are moored floating markers placed so as to guide ships in and out of channels, warn them away from  hidden  dangers,  and  lead  them  to  anchorage areas, etc. Buoys may be of various sizes and shapes. Regardless  of  their  shapes,  however,  their  distinctive coloring is the chief indication of their purposes. Large automatic navigational buoys (LANBYs) are major aids to navigation, and they provide light, sound signal, and radio beacon service, much the same as lightships.  Some  LANBYs  are  replacing  lightships  in U.S. waters. The LANBY is an all steel disk-shaped hull 40 feet in diameter. The light, sound signal, and radio beacon are located on the mast. Although buoys are valuable aids to navigation, they must never be depended upon exclusively. Buoys frequently drag their moorings in heavy weather, or they  may  be  set  adrift  when  run  down  by  passing vessels.   Lights   on   lighted   buoys   may   go   out   of commission.  Whistles,  bells,  and  gongs  actuated  by  the sea's motions may fail to function in smooth water. INTERNATIONAL   BUOYAGE   REGIONS To reach agreement with all maritime countries to bring all buoyage into one system with the least amount of   money   and   time   expended,   two   international buoyage  regions  were  established.  Figure  22  outlines International Buoyage Regions A and B. Navigational charts  produced  and/or  printed  after  1983  should indicate   the   buoyage   region   to   which   the   chart refers. 48

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