Coast Guard sets historic Francis Scott Key buoy on Patapsco River in Baltimore

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, home-ported in Baltimore, salutes the Francis Scott Key buoy after its seasonal launch in the Patapsco River, Baltimore, June 10, 2021. The buoy was placed at the site where Francis Scott Key is said to have written the “Star-Spangled Banner.” (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno/Released)

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin, home-ported in Baltimore, salutes the Francis Scott Key buoy after its seasonal launch in the Patapsco River, Baltimore, June 10, 2021.(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Breanna Centeno)

BALTIMORE — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin set the Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy on the Patapsco River on Thursday.

The specially designed star-spangled buoy marks the approximate location where Key wrote the U.S. national anthem while trying to facilitate the release of a prisoner on a British ship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.

The buoy, which sits between the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Fort McHenry, is set every summer and removed just before the winter. It has been an attraction for boaters and for tourists for decades.

“Of our 69 seasonal buoys we service, this Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy bears a special significance commemorating his site of inspiration,” said Lt. Justin Strassfield, commanding officer of the James Rankin. “We’re proud to do our part aiding safe navigation for recreational boaters, commercial mariners on the Chesapeake Bay, and Chesapeake watermen fishing for oysters and crabs, among many other things.”

The Coast Guard has been responsible for the buoy’s seasonal schedule and maintenance since 1980.

For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr.


If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.