A 3-meter weather buoy. Photo: NOAA.

Weather buoys drifting are explosive hazard

By Bryan Dorr
December 4, 2007, 11:32 am PST
bdorr@bjdorr.com

Two weather buoys located off the Oregon coast, Buoy 29 and Buoy 50, have broken free from their moorings and drifted away Monday, becoming a hazardous threat.

The National Data Buoy Center reported on their Web site that the weather buoys have gone adrift and may pose a potential explosion hazard to anyone or vessel that might get near it.

According to the NDBC, saltwater leaking into the battery compartment causes the batteries to corrode and build up hydrogen gas inside the compartment, which may cause an explosion.

The yellow-painted buoys have 3 meters (about 10 feet) diameter disc-shaped hulls , 16-foot tripod mast, four flashing lights, and have the markings "NOAA" and the station number (Buoy 29 is Station 46029 and Buoy 50 is Station 46050).

Buoy 29 was moored near Astoria and Buoy 50 was moored near Newport.

The latest buoy tracking data indicated both buoys are apparently drifting northward.

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