Coast Guard offers reward to help find stolen buoy bells off Maine’s coast

The space in which a sound signaling brass bell typically hangs on this offshore buoy is empty after the bell was stolen, off the coast of Maine. Stealing a sound signaling device off a buoy is a federal offense and can be punishable with heavy fines or even imprisonment. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

The space in which a sound signaling brass bell typically hangs on this offshore buoy is empty after the bell was stolen, off the coast of Maine.  (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

BOSTON — The Coast Guard is offering a cash reward for information concerning the theft of sound signaling devices from navigational buoys off Maine’s coast.

Over the last nine months, nine buoys had bells stolen from Penobscot Bay. White Bull Lighted Gong Buoy (Light List #6450) is believed to be the latest buoy stolen after a mariner reported the 371-pound bell assembly was missing. The buoy is located about two miles east of Bailey Island, Maine.

The bells attached to buoys help mariners navigate safely during times of reduced visibility. They play a vital role in the safe passage of ships and mariners.

Tampering with aids to navigation is a federal crime and can lead to fines up to $25,000 per day or up to one year in prison. Anyone with information regarding the missing sound signaling devices is urged to contact the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England Command Center at 207-767-0303. People who provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves are eligible to receive up to one-half of the fine imposed.

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