Awel y Môr Offshore Windfarm: SeaWatch LiDAR buoy deployment, March 2022

Mariners are advised that a SeaWatch LiDAR Buoy (SWLB) is due to be deployed approximately 13.3km off the North Wales coast in March 2022.  A Notice to Mariners about this operation is summarised below and can be downloaded here.

SeaWatch LiDAR Buoy (SWLB)

This buoy is an integrated Seawatch Wavescan buoy and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) device.  The buoy is designed to collect oceanographic and meteorological data.

The buoy is yellow, approximately 2.8m in diameter, with masts and equipment projecting approximately 4m above the sea surface.  The buoy will be moored to a single anchor approximately 13.3km north of the Great Orme at the following location:-

  • SeaWatch LiDAR Buoy (SWLB): 53° 27.751′ N 003° 51.763’W
    (or in D.DDD: 53.46262° N 003.86621°W)

Images of the buoy, its detailed specification, and a map showing the deployment location are provided in the Notice to Mariners that can be downloaded here.

Navigation details

To minimise the risk to other sea users the buoy will adopt the following measures:-

  • Light: a FL (5) Y 20s light is mounted to the top of one of the masts approximately 4m above sea level.  The light has a 4-5 nautical mile range.  The flash sequence is: FL(5) Y 20s – 0.8s On – 1.2s Off – 0.8s On – 1.2s Off – 0.8s On – 1.2s Off – 0.8s On – 1.2s Off – 0.8s On – 11.2s Off.
  • Passive radar reflectors – the buoy is equipped with radar reflectors; and
  • Automatic Information System (AIS) – the buoy will broadcast its position, and has both a primary GPS and a backup GPS tracker that will operate in the event of primary GPS failure.

The mooring will comprise of a 3oookg weight on the seabed.  The mooring design will allow for free movement of the buoy over a radius of up to 140 metres.

Mariners are advised that some elements of the mooring will float just below the sea surface, and to minimise the risk of entanglement should allow a minimum of 200m clearance from the surface buoy.

Deployment vessel details

The buoy is due to be deployed by the vessel Forth Jouster on or around 5th March 2022 (sea and weather conditions permitting).  Forth Jouster is a tug measuring 26m LOA x 11.5m beam, with a blue and white superstructure.  It is operated by Briggs Marine.

Details for the installation vessel are provided below, including a link to its present location on the MarineTraffic website:-

If this vessel is not available an alternative vessel will be used and an updated Notice to Mariners will be issued.

Other vessels are requested to keep well clear and pass slowly with a wide berth, particularly when the vessel is conducting operations.

The vessel will monitor VHF Channel 12 & 16 at all times and will actively transmit an AIS signal.

Details of this work are specified in the Notice to Mariners that can be downloaded 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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