Coast Guard Blows Whistle on Thieves of Buoy Bells, Gongs
The space in which a sound-signaling brass bell typically hangs on this offshore buoy is empty after the bell was stolen, off the coast of Maine. Stealing a sound signaling device off a buoy is a federal offense and can be punishable with heavy fines or even imprisonment. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)
The space in which a sound-signaling brass bell typically hangs on this offshore buoy is empty after the bell was stolen, off the coast of Maine. Stealing a sound signaling device off a buoy is a federal offense and can be punishable with heavy fines or even imprisonment. (U.S. Coast Guard courtesy photo)

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PORTLAND, Maine — Brass gongs and bells meant to help boats navigate in poor visibility are being stolen from buoys off Maine’s coast.

The Coast Guard says the sounding devices have been stolen over the past six months and it’s seeking the public’s help in finding them.

The Coast Guard says the devices are valuable and most likely are being sold to nautical novelty stores or scrap yards. Coast Guard Lt. Matthew Odom says the thefts put lives at risk, cost taxpayers money and create unnecessary work for crews that tend buoys.

Tampering with an aid to navigation is a federal crime. It’s punishable by fines of up to $25,000 per day and as much as a year in jail.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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