Abysmal situation

To the editor:
I am writing concerning the issue of missing buoys on Rainy Lake that has been raised in the Times over the past several weeks.
In 15 years on Rainy Lake, I have never seen the buoys in such an abysmal state. On a trip up the north arm in the last week of May, many markers were missing, including critical a green marker in Camp Narrows.
Earlier this month on a trip to Seine Bay, we observed a red marker drifting in more than 100 feet of open water.
While the situation has improved in recent weeks, even Sand Bay is still poorly marked. There are supposed to be two green markers marking the channel north of the lift bridge–only one is present. The old water intake is marked only by small floats kindly left by fishermen.
The green buoy at Campfire Island, which marks the division between the channel to the north arm lift bridge from the main channel, also is missing. This marks a “+” on the navigation chart, which is a rock just below the surface–not a six-foot reef as described by the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard is responsible for marking the lake properly to ensure public safety. For Mr. Coughlin to claim the marker situation is–in any way–adequate is irresponsible.
The buoys are not in place for the “average boat” or “old logging tug boats” but to maintain safe navigation for all users. This includes both power and sail boats (some of which draw five feet of water). A safely-marked lake is especially important for tourists to the area, including the many out-of-town entries to the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.
The Coast Guard should immediately implement steps to bring the buoys up to standard before there is serious damage to boats–or worse, injuries to boaters.
Yours sincerely,
Colin Hewitt
Past Commodore
Rendez-Vous Yacht Club


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