Gwynt y Môr: Export Cable Repair – Update & Marker Buoy, March 2021

This is a further update to Mariners about the cable repair work that is being carried out on the export cable for the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm.

This work started in January, and is now expected to be completed by the 29th March 2021. In the coming days a fixed yellow special marker buoy will be deployed by Trinity House to mark the location of an exposed cable bight which is sitting approximately 2 metres proud of the seabed.  Details of this buoy and its location can be downloaded here. A summary of this information and an update on progress is provided below.

Special Marker Buoy

Trinity House are due to deploy a fixed yellow special marker buoy and moorings at a location approximately 70m NE of the cable bight (note that Guard Vessels will be on station prior to the installation of this buoy and will leave after its installation – see below).

The purpose of this buoy is to alert mariners to the location of the cable bight.  The cable bight and the buoy mooring are both a potential danger to commercial fishing and angling vessels operating in the area.

Photographs of the type of buoy due to be installed, a map of its location, and the buoy specification are given in a notice here.  The key details are summarised below:-

  • Location:  53°23.052’N  003° 35.489’W (WGS 84).
  • Specification: Yellow buoy, 4.1m diameter, 3.5m tall piller.
  • Lantern: Flashing Yellow every 5 seconds (Fl Y 5s).
  • Mooring: 5 tonne pancake sinker.

To ensure the safety of mariners, all vessels are kindly requested to observe a 500m safety exclusion zone around this buoy.

The buoy will stay in place for the foreseeable future until a permanent solution is put in place allowing for the cable to be re-terminated and buried as originally planned.

Repair update

Briggs Marine Contractors were contracted by the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) to undertake a repair to the SSEC3 export cable due to a power core fault.

The main part of the repair works are now complete.  A full update on that status of the repair can be downloaded here.  In summary, after completion of these works a bight of cable was standing above the seabed level and posed a risk to fishing vessels or vessel engaged in underwater operations in this area.

The exposed cable bight is being patrolled by guard vessels 24 hours a day until the special marker buoy described above is installed.

Vessel details

Information about the guard vessels operating in this area including a link to their current location on the Marine Traffic website is provided below.

During these operations the Forth Jouster, Fulmar of Liverpool, and Vital will be restricted in their ability to manoeuvre and vessels are requested, in the interest of safety, to pass with care and at a safe speed and distance (advisory 500m).  The guard vessels will display appropriate lights and shapes for their operations.

Should any vessel wish to come within 500m of the guard vessels, then direct communication with the Master is required.

The full text and location map for these works is available here.

If you have any queries about this work please contact either Steven Searle or Andrew Kinninmonth at Briggs Marine (contact details are in the Notice to Mariners available here).

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