Emergency wreck marking buoy is designed to provide high visual and radio/radar recognition. It is intended that such wreck marking buoys should be maintained in position only until appropriate Lateral or Cardinal buoys can be deployed. The buoy has the following characteristics:

  • A pillar or spar buoy, with size dependant on location.
  • Coloured in equal number and dimensions of blue and yellow vertical stripes (minimum of 4 stripes and maximum of 8 stripes).
  • Fitted with an alternating blue and yellow flashing light with a nominal range of 4 nautical miles (the range may be altered depending on local conditions) and the blue and yellow 1-second flashes are alternated with an interval of 0.5 seconds.
  • If multiple buoys are deployed then the lights will be synchronised.
  • The top mark, if fitted, is to be a standing/upright yellow cross.

Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, has a statutory duty under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 to mark and, if appropriate, remove wrecks which are a danger to navigation.


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