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Buoyage Systems - 14220_125
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The United States System of Aids to Navigation - 14220_127
International Association of Light Authorities (IALA) Background In  years  past,  mariners  had  to  be  familiar  with  many  different  types  of buoyage  systems  worldwide,  because  there  was  no  standardized  system in  use.  Some  of  the  features  of  these  different  buoyage  systems  had completely  opposite  meanings,  which  often  led  to  confusion  and accidents.  In  the  mid  1970’s,  the  International  Association  of Lighthouse  Authorities  (IALA)  developed  and  secured  acceptance  of  two systems  of  buoyage  known  as  IALA  A  and  IALA  B.  Both  systems  use a  combination  of  cardinal  and  lateral  marks  plus  unique  marks  for isolated  dangers,  safe-water,  and  special-purpose  areas. IALA  Systems The  IALA  system  uses  buoy  shape,  color,  and,  if  lighted,  rhythm  of flashes  to  convey  the  desired  information  to  the  navigator.  The  system also  uses  special  topmarks,  which  are  small  distinctive  shapes  above  the basic  aid  to  facilitate  identification. IALA  System  A  is  used  in  Europe,  Africa,  and  most  of  Asia,  including Australia  and  New  Zealand.  In  this  system,  cardinal  marks  are  widely used.  Red  buoys  are  kept  to  port  when  entering  from  seaward;  green buoys  are  kept  to  starboard. IALA  system  B  is  used  in  North,  Central,  and  South  America,  Japan, South  Korea,  and  the  Philippines.  Cardinal  marks  are  permitted  in  this system  but  are  seldom  used.  Red  buoys  are  kept  to  starboard  (red  right returning)  when  entering  from  seaward,  green  buoys  are  kept  to  port. Figure  4-13  shows  how  the  two  IALA  regions  are  divided  worldwide. Figure  4-13.  The  IALA  buoyage  system. 4-28

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