VIDEO: Summer Buoys Out, Winter Buoys In Ahead of Bay Ice

Photo: Jeffrey Schneider, U.S. Coast Guard District 5 PADET Baltimore

One by one, the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin is replacing 77 of the large summer buoys we’re used to seeing on the Bay with seasonal winter buoys.

Summer buoys tend to collect ice in freezing conditions, and the weight of it can submerge or drag buoys away from their intended location.

That could create a major hazard for boaters, leaving channels unmarked and potentially causing boats to run aground or hit a buoy.

The 175-foot Rankin’s crew can typically swap out about six buoys a day, for an 8 to 12-hour workday. They’ll be working from the approaches to Baltimore Harbor and the upper Bay throughout the month of December.

Chief Warrant Officer Christopher Runt, the Sector Maryland-National Capital Region aids to navigation chief, talks about the seasonal buoy exchanges:

-Meg Walburn Viviano