Press Release, US Coast Guard Fifth District

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.

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