A buoy is a type of an object that floats in water and is used in the middle of the seas as locators or as warning points for the ships. Buoys are generally bright (fluorescent) in colour. Mooring buoys are a type of buoy, to which, ships can be moored in the deep oceanic areas. A mooring buoy weighs more than the general type of buoys.
The mooring buoy is designed in a manner that there is a heavier weight located right in the bottom of the sea. This weight is like an anchor holding the buoy afloat in the water. A mooring buoy has loops or chains attached to its top that floats on the water. These chains are provided so that ships or boats can be effectively moored to them. The entire application of a mooring buoy works in such a way that the buoy is floating while the ships are moored to a very firm support without using the anchor system of halting a ship. In some parts of the world, mooring buoys are also used to moor boats and ships away from areas where coral reefs thrive.
Ships using mooring buoys to protect coral reefs do so because when the traditional types of anchors are used, they tend to dig and uproot the coral that lie deep under the water surface. This would cause a huge loss to the marine ecosystem. By using a mooring buoy, two purposes are served – the ships are moored appropriately and the loss to the marine life-forms is prevented. Such mooring buoys in coral reef areas are located mainly in Australia, Asia and also in some parts of the United States.
The shipping tankers using mooring buoys have to follow regulations set by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). This is an official and voluntary association of companies that engage mainly in oil extraction and shipping across the world.
Oil tankers use mooring buoys because they are stable and easy when it comes to unloading the cargo contained in these ships. Instead of a tanker ship going to an oil rig for loading oil containers, it’s better if this procedure is carried out in the high seas so that delay in not caused in the transportation of cargo to the required areas.
A mooring buoy is being more preferred to the traditional type of anchors in today’s times. In the days to come, because of the increase in awareness towards environmental protection, the system of a mooring buoy will be the most relevant equipment in the shipping industry.
References: Americanreef, Yourdictionary