SHARECOMMENTMORE

CLEVELAND -- The U.S. Coast Guard has begun retrieving buoys and beacons from the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway System in preparation for winter.

The Ninth Coast Guard District annually takes navigational aids including lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons out of service during the winter due to decreased vessel traffic and to minimize damage from ice and severe weather.

Operation Fall Retrieve began last month and is expected to end by Dec. 28. The navigational aids help maritime traffic by marking safe passage for domestic, international, commercial and recreational vessels.

The Coast Guard manages 3,127 fixed and floating federal aids in the region.Aids to navigation can provide a boater with the same type of information drivers get from street signs, stop signals, road barriers, detours and traffic lights.