Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy (2020)

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In late June, crewmembers of Coast Guard Cutter James Rankin deployed the Francis Scott Key memorial buoy on the Patapsco River.

Francis Scott Key memorial buoy Patapsco River
Francis Scott Key memorial buoy on the Patapsco River | credit: USCG

The specially designed star-spangled buoy marks the approximate location where Francis Scott Key wrote The country’s National Anthem while trying to facilitate the release of a prisoner being held on a British ship during the bombardment on Fort McHenry in 1814.

The buoy, which sits between the Francis Scott Key Bridge and Fort McHenry, is set every summer and removed just before the winter. It has been an attraction for boaters and tourists for decades.

“Our crew is proud to carry on this annual Coast Guard tradition in commissioning the Francis Scott Key Memorial Buoy,” said Lt. Justin Strassfield, commanding officer of the James Rankin. “The operation allows us to reflect on the distinctly American spirit of resiliency.”

The Coast Guard has been responsible for the buoy’s seasonal schedule and maintenance since 1980.

source: USCG 5th District

Related Information

Baltimore History

Port of Baltimore

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