This mark has two names as it can be looked at two ways. For instance, it is sometimes called a Safe Water Mark because as a vessel leaves a buoyed area, there is nothing but open sea ahead.
As a vessel enters an area of buoyage from the open sea this mark can be referred to as a Fairway Buoy. It marks the start of a buoyed channel or harbour. Just like a fairway in the game of golf.
The purpose of the safe water mark is simply to denote the limit of a buoyed harbour.
The mark has red and white vertical stripes which alternate all the way round. It’s top mark, if fitted, is a red ball.
There are a total of four possible light combinations for this particular buoy and all of them are white.
The pattern will be one of the following shown with their chart abbreviations: