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