MARINE NOTICE, No 089 of 2016

Inland Waterway; © WI
Inland Waterway; © WI

MARINE NOTICE, No.89 of 2016



Dangers Associated with Overhead Power Lines

Northern Ireland Electricity Networks has requested that the following information, issued by their Head of Health, Safety and Environment be brought to the attention of recreational boaters.

„Northern Ireland Electricity Networks wants to encourage sailors to be aware of their surroundings and to look up and look out for overhead power lines and equipment while sailing, particularly when sailing on rivers, canals and other areas away from open water, where they could potentially come close to overhead lines. We would appreciate your help to distribute this message.
Every year sailors can inadvertently put themselves in danger by sailing too close to the overhead electricity network. Sailors can suffer electric shocks, burns or even fatal injuries and NIE Networks is encouraging everyone who may be sailing on waterways which are in proximity to overhead power lines to do so with caution.
Many sailboats have masts of 9m (30ft) or more and, as most of these masts are made of aluminium, they are an excellent conductor of electricity. If an aluminium mast or rigging come into contact with or too close to power lines, it could result in a fatality.
NIE Networks advises all boat owners to take some simple precautions to stay safe.

    • Plan your route carefully when transporting your boat to or from where it is being launched, making sure  you have adequate clearance under overhead power lines. When you are stepping the mast or erecting long aerials, be sure to do so in an area totally clear of overhead power lines.
    • Once out on the water, if you are sailing on inland waterways or near islands or headlands, you should still look for overhead lines as they do cross over waterways. You must ensure that your mast or aerial has proper clearance from any power lines.
    • Always check your charts when underway to ensure you are aware of the location of overhead power lines.
    • When anchoring on inland waterways or islands, look out for warning signs on banks for submerged cables. Don’t anchor boats over submerged cables.

For more information please visit or contact NIE Networks on 03457 643 643 and ask for Tom McAnally or Hal Steel“

Charles Lawn, Inspector of Navigation, 21 Jul 2016

Carrick on Shannon Overhead-Powerline; click picture to "enlarge"
Carrick on Shannon Overhead-Powerline

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