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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    Default Buoy with heavy floating line, 13nm N of Holyhead

    On northern edge of TSS. in 50m of water, over/very close to charted wreck.

    We had just altered course to cross the TSS, under power and were just stowing the mainsail when the autopilot alarm sounded and boat lurched. We discovered that the boat appeared to be anchored to the seabed but by the stern: tide was running out of the Irish Sea and it was a jumbled seastate with flukey wind, showers and failing light.

    We could see an orange mooring buoy, just breaking the surface with the sea streaming past it. A thick line from it to the aft end of our boat was just visible, obviously straining as it held a 12 ton ketch by the tail. Boat hooks, knife on pole would not reach: it was deemed unsafe to go over the side or attempt to use the inflatable.

    With some trepidation the engine was re-started, having been shutdown immediately after the boat was fouled. The prop was found to be still producing some thrust. After some discussion and the feeling that we had nothing to lose, a sharp burst of full astern was applied. Luck was on our side. The thick line with a small pot buoy sprung loose [presumably having been locked between skeg and rudder], and we were free.

    The whole incident lasted about 25 minutes in failing light. Holyhead CG were kept in the picture: they had brought the RNLI to standby and had just called for a launch when we informed them that we were now clear of what we had initially taken to be fishing gear. I believe that it may have been a mooring put down by a dive boat.

    We were very unlucky to catch such a mooring line so far off the coast. Should such buoys be marked on charts, or positions be promulated by Notice to Mariner action, or ....? If we had suffered damage [still waiting for out-of-water inspection], who is responsible?

    Position and details of markings on buoy passed to CG.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Default Re: Buoy with heavy floating line, 13nm N of Holyhead

    Approaching Holyhead on passage from Dun Laoghaire Last Monday some 10nm offshore (South of the Anglesey TSS) we noticed several of these large mooring types buoys. but can't say we noticed floating line. At the peak flow times they are almost invisable.

    However on passage south around Northstack about 5 to 7 cables off the headland there are several pots spaced about 50 to 100ft apart with floating line connecting them, and other with long lengths of floating line, i've been keen to catch the local idiot whose setting these pots as we have been tangled in them in the past. You can go as close as you dare to the north and south stack headlands to avoid adverse currents but now its very hard with all this floating line around.
    If I'd wanted to live in a Banana Republic I'd have gone to South America.


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