A 13,000 Pound Buoy Has Washed Up on a Hilton Head Beach
Tourist season may be wrapping up in Hilton Head, but there’s a new—larger-than-life, in fact—draw to visiting the popular vacation destination.
Indeed, the circumstances certainly are somber. As Hurricane Irma pummeled through Florida, Georgia, and parts of South Carolina as a tropical storm, it wreaked havoc throughout our region. Now, a silver lining from the destructive storm has appeared on Hilton Head in the form of a Coast Guard buoy.
Giant, bright red buoy number 8 weighs 13,000 pounds and came ashore Monday, September 14th. Originally situated at the mouth of Port Royal Sound, heavy winds of upwards of 60 mph carried the buoy to the shores of Coligny Beach. Due to its size, the Coast Guard is looking into airlifting it the eight miles back to its post via army helicopter.
Currently, the massive spectacle is drawing hordes of beachgoers to pose for a photo. Of course, Number 8 will have to return to its job shortly so it can continue to help boats navigate safely through the ocean. For now, though, the much-needed smiles its providing onlookers with is certainly a break in the clouds.
A buoy (/ˈbɔɪ/, also /ˈbwɔɪ/ or US: /ˈbuːiː/) is a floating device that can have many purposes. It can be anchored (stationary) or allowed to drift with ocean currents. The word, of Old French or Middle Dutch origin, is (in British English) now most commonly pronounced /ˈbɔɪ/ (identical with boy, as in buoyant). In American English the pronunciation is closer to "boo-ee."
A sea mark, also seamark and navigation mark, is a form of aid to navigation and pilotage aid which identifies the approximate position of a maritime channel, hazard and administrative area to allow boats, ships and seaplanes to navigate safely.
There are three types of sea mark: beacons (fixed to the seabed or on shore), buoys (consisting of a floating object that is usually anchored to a specific location on the bottom of the sea or to a submerged object) and a type of cairn built on a submerged rock/object, especially in calmer waters.
Sea marks are used to indicate channels, dangerous rocks or shoals, mooring positions, areas of speed limits, traffic separation schemes, submerged shipwrecks, and for a variety of other navigational purposes. Some are only intended to be visible in daylight (daymarks), others have some combination of lights, reflectors, bells, horns, whistles and radar reflectors to make them usable at night and in conditions of reduced visibility.
Marks are shown on nautical charts, using symbols that indicate their colour, shape and light characteristic, and are usually identified by name or number.
In a wider sense the phrase "sea mark" is often understood to include all kinds of landmarks, structures and devices that can be used to provide warning and guiding signs to mariners. Thus a sea mark can be and often is located on dry land. Examples of land-based sea marks are various signal lights and leading marks. The latter are mainly used to indicate the centerline of a fairway in narrow passages. Sea marks may also on occasion be used to help mark the boundaries of defensive sea minefields, or the safe lanes through same, especially during wartime. Google and Wikipedia
February 7th, 2018
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