Gwynt y Môr: Safety notice update for fishermen and anglers, November 2020

This notice provides an update to facilitate the safe conduct of fishing and angling activities within the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm Site.  It provides information on certain safety issues and links to maps showing the location of turbines, cabling and buoyage around the windfarm.

Mariners are advised to observe safety precautions that apply to all vessels operating within the wind farm site:-

  1. Submarine cables – there are submarine cables running between the turbines within the wind farm area (“interarray” cables) and also connecting the wind farm to the shore (“export” cables).  Every effort has been taken to bury these cables.  As cable exposure is a known risk at GYMOWF and across the offshore wind industry, mariners are reminded of the safety information published on the KIS-ORCA website “The Risks of Fishing Near Cables and Renewable Energy Structures” which is available here.
    1. Rock protection has been used on part of the export cable and within the wind farm area.
    2. Exposed cable, including freespans, are known to exist within the wind farm area.
    3. To reduce safety risks, mariners are advised to continue to follow the guidance issued in the Notice to Mariners about cables available to download here and summarised below.
      1. Fishing vessels using towed gear within or around the wind farm area are advised not to tow over either the export or inter-array cables.
      2. Cable routes are shown in the Kingfisher awareness chart for the wind farm which can be downloaded here.
  2. Wave buoy – there is a wave buoy located on the north-eastern edge of the wind farm.  They buoy is yellow, approximately 1m in diameter, and sits very low in the water.  It is marked with a yellow flashing light (5 flashes repeated every 20 seconds)   The buoy is marked on the map available here and is at this location:-
    • Wave buoy (Fl(5) Y 20s): 53° 28.592’N, 003° 30.153’W
  3. Construction vessels – there will be a 500m safety exclusion zone around any construction vessels working on the site.  A Notice to Mariners will be issued prior to any construction work taking place. Please also be aware that construction vessels may be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre, and navigate accordingly.
  4. Monopiles and offshore substations – during any periods of maintenance, we ask all mariners to observe a  50m safety zone around maintenance vessels and any monopiles or offshore substations where work is taking place.  These safety zones are requested in order to promote the safety of all vessels, their crew and passengers.
  5. Navigation flags, lights & shapes – all vessels should display the appropriate flags, lights or shapes to indicate whether or not they are engaged in fishing activities (if you have any doubts about the symbols to display, please contact the Maritime and Coastguard Agency here).
  6. Access to, mooring to, or attaching items to any offshore structures within the wind farm area is strictly prohibited for safety reasons.

More information has been provided for anglers in a briefing note that can be downloaded here.

For your convenience, the location of the Liverpool Bay wind farms, wind turbines, and substations can be found in Kingfisher Awareness Charts for:-

  • Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm here.
  • Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm here.
  • North Hoyle Offshore Wind Farm here.

Information about other wind farm sites, and also fishing plotter files showing the location of wind farms in the Irish Sea can be downloaded from the Kingfisher Information Services Offshore Renewables & Cables Awareness website here.

Information about the current and proposed maintenance activities on the Gwynt y Môr windfarm site is circulated in e-mail bulletins.  You can find a list of all recent updates here, and sign up for free updates here.

Please contact Jim Andrews, Fishery Liaison Officer by e-mail or phone (+44(0)7908-225865) if you have any queries or concerns about this notice.

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