Coast Guard buoy tender conducts seasonal buoy swaps on Chesapeake Bay

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Stephen Diggs, assisted by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Amato, boatswains mates aboard the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, homeported at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, attach security chains following the recovery of a summer buoy, on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Dec. 3, 2018. The James Rankin crew was engaged in the process of exchanging seasonal winter buoys for summer buoys throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges)

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Stephen Diggs, assisted by Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Amato attach security chains following the recovery of a summer buoy, on the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Dec. 3, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronald Hodges)

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin crew is replacing the summer buoys with seasonal winter buoys on the Chesapeake Bay throughout the month of December.

Ice and snow have the potential to damage, displace and submerge the large summer buoys, which would leave the channel unmarked and could create a substantial hazard to mariners. Displaced buoys could misguide boaters, which might result in groundings or allisions with partially-submerged buoys.

“The James Rankin is replacing 77 buoys in the Chesapeake Bay from the approaches to Baltimore Harbor and the Upper Chesapeake Bay,” said Lt. Cmdr. Linden Dahlkemper, commanding officer of the James Rankin. “We typically swap out six buoys a day, which takes between 8 and 12 hours if everything goes smoothly.”


Aids to navigation units throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Northeast regions are preparing the waterways for ice conditions.

The James Rankin is a 175-foot Keeper-class buoy tender homeported at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore.



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