Mediterranean Sailing, Cruising top

 IALA MARITIME BUOYAGE SYSTEM 'REGION A'

The colour and characteristics of many of the lights and structures in the Eastern Mediterranean are still in process of change to IALA System A. Mariners are strongly advised to consult the latest charts and Notices to Mariners for up to date information.
The system provides the five types of marks described below which may be used in combination:
The significance of any mark depends upon one or more of the following features:
By night—colour and rhythm of light. By day—colour, shape, topmark.

Lateral marks used in conjunction with a conventional direction of buoyage, generally used for well defined channels. These marks indicate the port and starboard sides of the route to be followed. Where a channel divides, a modified lateral mark may be used to indicate the preferred route. Lateral marks differ between buoyage regions A and B.

Cardinal marks used in conjunction with the mariner's compass, indicate where the mariner may find navigable water.

Isolated Danger marks indicate isolated dangers of limited size that have navigable water all around them.

Safe Water marks indicate that there is navigable water all around their position, e.g. mid-channel marks.

Special marks not primarily intended to assist navigation but indicating an area or feature referred to in nautical documents.

CONVENTIONAL DIRECTION OF BUOYAGE

The conventional direction of buoyage may be defined in one of two ways:
The general direction taken by the mariner when approaching a harbour, river, estuary or other waterway from seaward, or
In other areas it is determined by the appropriate authority. In principle, it follows a clockwise direction around land masses.

The conventional direction is indicated in appropriate nautical documents.

LATERAL MARKS

 

Port hand Marks

Starboard hand Marks

Colour : Red  Green 
Shape (Buoys): Cylindrical (can), pillar or spar Conical, pillar or spar
Topmark (if any) : Single red cylinder (can) Single green cone, point upward
Light (when fitted) Red, any other than composite group flashing (2+1) Green, any other than composite

At the point where a channel divides, when proceeding in the conventional direction of buoyage, a preferred chan nel may be indicated by modifying Port or Starboard lateral marks as follows:

  Preferred channel to Starboard : Preferred channel to Port :
Colour : Red with one broad green horizontal band Green with one broad red horizontal band
Shape (Buoys) : Cylindrical (can), pillar or spar Conical, pillar or spar
Topmark (if any) :  Single red cylinder (can) Single green cone, point upward
 Light (when fitted) :  Red, Composite group flashing (2+1) Green. Composite group flashing (2+1)

CARDINAL MARKS

Mediterranean Sailing. IALA Maritime BuoyageSystem Region A. Danger Mark.

The four quadrants (North, East, South and West) are bounded by the true bearings NW-NE, NE-SE, SE-SW, SW-NW, taken from the point of interest. A cardinal mark is named after the quadrant in which it is placed. The name of a cardinal mark indicates that it should be passed to the named side of the mark. It may be used:
to indicate that the deepest water in that area is on the named side of the mark to indicate the safe side on which to pass a danger to draw attention to a feature in a channel such as a bend, a junction, a bifurcation, or the end of a shoal
 

NORTH CARDINAL MARK

EAST CARDINAL MARK

SOUTH CARDINAL MARK WEST CARDINAL MARK

Topmark:  

2 black cones, one above the other, points upward.  

2 black cones, one above the other, base to base. 2 black cones, one above the other, points downward. 2 black cones, one above the other, point to point.
Colour : Black above yellow. Black with a single broad horizontal yellow band.  Yellow above black. Yellow with a single broad horizontal black band.
Shape :  Pillar or spar. Pillar or spar. Pillar or spar. Pillar or spar.

Light (when fitted) :

 White, V.Qk.FI. or Qk.FI. White, V.Qk.FI.(3) every 5s or Qk.FI.(3) every 10s White, V.Qk.FI.(6) + long flash every 10s or Qk.Fl.f6) + long flash every 15s White, V.Qk.FI.(9) every 10s or Qk.Fl.f9) every 15s

 

ISOLATED DANGER MARK  is a mark over an isolated danger which has navigable water all around it.

Topmark 

2 black spheres, one above the other.

Mediterranean Sailing. IALA Maritime BuoyageSystem Region A. Isolated Mark.

Colour 

Black with one or more broad horizontal red bands.

Shape 

Pillar or spar preferred.

Light (when fitted) 

White, Gp.Fl.t2).

SAFE WATER MARKS  indicate that there is navigable water all round the mark; these include centre line marks and mid-channel marks. Such a mark may also be used as an alternative to a cardinal or a lateral mark to indicate a landfall.

Colour :

Red and white vertical stripes.

Mediterranean Sailing. IALA Maritime BuoyageSystem Region A. Safe Water Mark.

Shape :

Spherical, pillar with spherical topmark or spar.

Topmark (if any) :

Single red sphere.

Light (when fitted) :

White, Isophase, occulting, one long flash every 10s or Morse A.

SPECIAL MARKS

Marks not primarily intended to assist navigation but which indicate a special area or feature referred to in appropriate nautical documents, e.g.

Ocean Data Acquisition Systems (ODAS) marks; Traffic Separation marks where use of conventional channel marking may cause confusion; Spoil Ground marks; Military Exercise Zone marks; Cable or pipe line marks; Recreation Zone marks.

Colour :

Yellow

Shape :

Optional but not conflicting with navigational marks (e.g. a yellow can buoy will not be used in a 'starboard' situation in region A).

Topmark (if any) :

Single yellow 'X' shape.

Light (when fitted) :

Yellow

NEW DANGERS

Used to describe newly discovered hazards not yet shown on charts, including naturally occurring obstructions such as sandbanks or rocks or man-made dangers such as wrecks.
New Dangers will be marked in accordance with these rules. In the case of an especially grave danger, one of the marks may be duplicated.
Any lighted mark used for this purpose shall have an appropriate cardinal or lateral V.Qk.FI. or Qk.FI. light character.
A duplicate mark will be identical to its partner in all respects. A duplicate mark may carry a racon, coded Morse D. The duplicate mark will be removed when the new danger has been sufficiently promulgated.

Mediterranean Sailing

 

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