Safe water marker buoy

The Safe water marker or buoy is used by the Coast Guard to mark an area of the sea as safe for navigation. It’s also known as a “buoy” and can be found in colors like white with red vertical stripes. The markers are used for safety purposes, especially when visibility is low.

Safe water markers help people, vessels, and vehicles reach their destinations safely. When visibility is low due to fog or rain, these buoys help boaters know where the channel is.

Safe water buoy showing light and shape
Safe water marker: Shape, color, top mark

Safe water marker

Before Safe Water markers were put into place, ships would use far more anchors to avoid running aground, and was quite a dangerous process. These buoys help create safer waters today. These markers are used internationally and are governed by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities. These Markers have been around for decades, helping to make travel safer for those who use the water.

Safe water markers can also be found in regions A and B. These markers come with a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs for each country. Each buoy or marker is different in its own way. Pillar or spar buoys are one of the most common designs.

Safe Water Marks are sometimes used to guide vessels at night where lights would not normally be visible. When Safe Water Marks are used for this purpose they have 1 long flash every 10 seconds. A single white light is used to identify Safe Water Markers. Morse code “A” also helps identify these Safe Markers.

What is the letter A in Morse code?

Morse code “A” is used to send the letter “A” in code transmission. The letters of a Safe Water Mark all begin with the letter “A”, or 1 long flash every 10 seconds. Di-dah is Morse code for the letter “A” and can be used by Safe Water Markers to identify themselves.

How do you pass a safe water marker?

Safe Water Marks are often placed in areas where other obstructions might block a channel or lane of water, but there is typically enough room to pass by safely. Safe Water Marks can also be found in deeper waters as well. It’s important that Safe Water Marks be passed on the left or right side of the buoy. But avoid touching Safe Water Marks while passing. These Markers should be passed at a safe distance and with caution.

What is the Top mark on a safe water marker?

The Safe Water Mark has a top mark on it. One single red ball is used to identify the top mark.


There are many ways to mark a safe water route through shallow areas, but the Safe Water Marker is pretty easy and straightforward. The purpose of a safe water marker is to indicate unobstructed water on all sides. It’s white with red vertical stripes that also include a red ball on top. The actual buoy is anchored to the seafloor. It can be used in two ways: as an aid for navigation at the head or tail of a channel, and also as a mid-channel mark that allows boats to pass either side without obstruction.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about these fascinating markers which are greatly underused but hugely effective – contact us if you want more information!

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