>Ice Endangered Buoys in Fifth Coast Guard District

>During the cold winter months throughout the Fifth Coast Guard District, buoys can become endangered by ice, potentially moving the buoy off station and in some cases dragging the buoy for many miles or beaching it. Servicing or temporarily removing “ice endangered” buoys is critical to maintaining the safe navigation of a waterway as well as reducing ATON maintenance costs due to lost or damaged buoys.

Coast Guard policy dictates that at least a skeleton system of aids should be kept on station until the last practicable moment to assist traffic, bearing in mind that the complete removal of floating aids is a task requiring many days.

In order to maintain proper waterways navigation during the winter months, ice buoys may be employed. An ice buoy is usually a metal spar, used to replace a more easily damaged buoy during a period when heavy ice is anticipated.

In the spring, the restoration of ice endangered buoys is merely a reversal of the removal procedure, and those buoys that were not removed but were lost due to ice, will be recovered where possible.