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Boat floating in front of a marina

The Accidental Fisherman

A couple of weeks ago, in the dead of night, a fishing vessel got snagged on a fibre optic cable in the North Sea.

The Accidental Fisherman

The fishing vessel didn’t break the cable. But it couldn’t free itself. It was caught. The cable itself had become an accidental fisherman, snaring the unsuspecting fishing boat and its crew.

On this occasion, this particular cable was not being monitored by SeaGard, UltraMAPs partner company. So no alarm was raised in the SeaGard Operations Centre. If SeaGard had been monitoring, the event itself would have been avoided of course. We are ’assurance’ not ‘insurance’. SeaGard is designed so that alarms sound before accidents occur. However, being aware of who we are and what we do, the Coast Guard did give us a call.

We were able to help. We co-ordinated the communication between the Marine Liaison officer for ESCA (European Subsea Cables Association), the cable owner, the Coast Guard and the vessel. The good news is that conditions out in the North Sea allowed the vessel to free itself with only the loss of part of its fishing gear. And more importantly, no-one was injured.

It’s great to be recognised by the Coast Guard as the go-to people after things like this happen. But even better is SeaGard's increasing reputation as the people to go to before they do. That’s best for everyone, really.

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