Special mark

A Special Mark, as defined by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities, is a sea mark used in maritime pilotage. It is recognisable by its yellow colour and X, (also referred to as a St. Andrews Cross or saltire) top-mark. It has a distinctive sequence of various flashes that does not match any other navigational mark flashes in its vicinity.

Examples of Special Marks
A Special mark indicating an outfall pipe in the Irish Sea off Helen's Bay, Northern Ireland. It has the flashing sequence Fl.(2).Y meaning it flashes yellow twice, this is called group flashing.


Special marks can indicate:

Other usesEdit

  • Buoys, such as a Weather buoy or Mooring buoy are coloured yellow or have a yellow light to indicate it is not an aid to navigation.

See alsoEdit


  • "Special Marks" (PDF). IALA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-12-14.