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Buoy Identification - 14221_124
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International Association of Light Authorities (IALA) - 14221_126
Buoyage Systems Systems A  buoyage  system  consists  of  fixed,  floating,  lighted,  and  unlighted ATONs.  These  aids  are  used  to  mark  waterways.  There  are  two buoyage  systems  that  are  in  use  throughout  the  world-the  lateral system  and  the  cardinal  system. Lateral  System In  the  lateral  system,  aids  are  placed  to  mark  the  sides  of  a  navigable channel.  They  also  mark  junctions  and  bifurcations,  indicate  the  safe side  on  which  to  pass  hazards,  and  mark  the  general  safe  centerline  of wide  bodies  of  water. In  U.S.  waters,  a  vessel  returning  from  seaward  and  proceeding  toward the  head  of  navigation  is  generally  considered  as  moving  southerly  along the  Atlantic  Coast,  westerly  along  the  Gulf  Coast,  and  northerly  along the  Pacific  Coast.  This  is  what  is  known  as  the  "conventional  direction" of  buoyage.  Virtually  all  U.S.  lateral  marks  are  located  in  what  is known  as  IALA  region  B  and  follow  the  traditional  "red  right  returning" rule. Cardinal   System   In  the  cardinal  system,  aids  generally  mark  the  geographic  relationship to  the  aid  of  a  hazard  in  terms  of  90-degree  quadrants  centered  on  the cardinal  directions  of  north,  east,  south,  and  west.  The  cardinal  system is  not  widely  used  in  the  United  States  and  will  not  be  discussed  in  this text.  For  more  information  on  the  cardinal  system,  consult  Dutton's Navigation  and  Piloting  or  Bowditch. 4-27

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