Damage to buoys is punishable by law
Buoys placed in the Bertha channel on the Whitefish Chain were recently damaged, with the solar lights cut out of the buoys and stolen.
The buoys in lakes are placed to protect boats’ hulls and equipment and help to preserve the shoreline in fragile areas. Recently, buoys placed in the Bertha channel on the Whitefish Chain were damaged, with the solar lights cut out of the buoys and stolen.
The Whitefish Chain Yacht Club, in conjunction with the Crow Wing Sheriff’s Water Patrol and Waterfront Services in Crosslake, maintains and replaces the buoys each year. Red and green buoys are placed to mark channels and hazard buoys are placed to warn boaters of dangerous rocks.
According to the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department Water Patrol, damage to the buoys is punishable by Minnesota Statute as a misdemeanor, with up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000. If the damages exceed $500, it may be considered a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
The combined value of a buoy and solar light is more than $500.