Emergency Procedures

Please keep clear of and do not damage subsea cables/structures. You risk the loss of your gear and catch, and international communications can be disrupted. These cables carry high voltages and can be dangerous to life. Many cables have high breaking strains, some over 70 tonnes. Cables will usually lie buried in the seabed, although because the seabed can move, there is no guarantee they will remain in the same place.

If you do snag a cable, or find yourself in difficulty within a wind farm, make sure you follow the emergency procedures below, to safeguard your vessel and your crew.

If you suspect that you have fouled a submarine cable/structure,

the following action should be taken:


If weights are excessive and you suspect you are fast to a cable / structure, DO NOT endanger your vessel and crew by attempting to recover your gear.


Carefully plot your ships position as accurately as possible.


Advise HM Coastguard of your situation or call the 24 hour Emergency Number associated with the cable/structure and state that an incident is occurring concerning a subsea cable/structure.

The closer to the surface a subsea cable is lifted when fouled by fishing gear, the more danger there is to the fishing vessel.

If it is thought prudent to slip, or cut one or both warps or bridles, in an attempt to clear a cable from the fishing gear, always lower the gear to the seabed first. Never attempt to slip anything bearing excessive weight. 

For a list of the emergency contact numbers for each Subsea Cable, or Wind Farm, please click here.