Cardinal Buoys

Cardinal buoys indicate the direction in which there is safe water. They are black and yellow in colour, and if they do not have a light, they are usually spar (pole) shaped. The combinations of black and yellow mean different things, as indicated below. Black is the dominant and indicative colour. The buoy’s flashing lights at night also correspond to points on a compass to indicate which type of buoy we are looking at.

Cardinal Buoys - yellow and black buoys

  • The North Cardinal Buoy is positioned to indicate that the safest water is to its North.
  • The South Cardinal Buoy is positioned to indicate the safest water is to its South.
  • The East Cardinal Buoy is positioned to indicate the safest water is to its East.
  • The West Cardinal Buoy is positioned to indicate the safest water is to its West.

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