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BUOY. A piece of wood, or an empty barrel, floating on the water, to show the place where it is shallow, to indicate the danger there is to navigation. The act of Congress, approved the 28th September, 1850, enacts, " that all buoys along the coast, in bays, harbors, sounds, or channels, shall be colored and numbered, so that passing up the coast or sound, or entering the bay, harbor or channel, red buoys with even numbers, shall be passed on the starboard hand, black buoys, with uneven numbers, on the port hand, and buoys with red and black stripes on either hand. Buoys in channel ways to be colored with alternate white and black perpendicular stripes."

References in classic literature ?
At one end of this line was a small barrel buoy, at the other the two fishermen in their boat.
A strong buoy, strengthened by a couple of spars, was thrown into the ocean.
The broad inlet of the shallow North Sea passes gradually into the contracted shape of the river; but for a long time the feeling of the open water remains with the ship steering to the westward through one of the lighted and buoyed passage-ways of the Thames, such as Queen's Channel, Prince's Channel, Four-Fathom Channel; or else coming down the Swin from the north.
He fastened the straps for her, then, with the pistol belt, buckled himself across one shoulder to the outside of the buoy.
For half an hour they maintained silence, Duncan, his head resting on the arm that was on the buoy, seemed asleep.
Let me see—July is the last month, and the flesh must be getting good.” While he was talking, Natty had instinctively employed himself in fastening the inner end of the bark rope, that served him for a cable, to a paddle, and, rising suddenly on his legs, he cast this buoy away.
Until positive proof of the baby's death reached them there was always that to buoy them up.
A spokesperson for the TVLB said: "This is very dangerous behaviour as these buoys are an essential part of lifesaving near water - if you see anyone playing around with a buoy then please report it to the police so that appropriate action can be taken."
Birmingham quartet Paper Buoys have released their latest single, and arranged a headline set in their home city to promote it this Friday.
THREE buoys have been removed from a city centre square to make way for a new Blitz memorial.
A comprehensive study including on the technical aspects will be done as soon as possible to look into the need to replace buoys with data sensors for early tsunami warning that are faulty, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.