A subsea cable was recently installed by the Pacific Caribbean Cable System Consortium off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida. The cable is one inch in diameter. The cable is buried three to five feet in sand and mud bottom but is on the surface on hard bottom, slopes, and coral areas. The cable may be damaged by anchors, fishing gear, and other seabed activities. The approximate route of the cable is shown on the chart below. More information on the cable, including coordinates, may be found here:
To help fishermen avoid damage to fishing gear, NOAA Fisheries is alerting fishermen of the cable and relaying the following information supplied from the cable owner (PCCS Consortium):
- Keep clear of and do not damage subsea cables. It is an offence to willfully damage subsea cables.
- If your gear snags something that may be the cable, please do not try to lift it. That could cause risks to the vessel, crew, and cable. Weight and tension of the cable could affect vessel stability, and cables carry up to 12,000 volts of electrical current.
- A vessel owner who sacrifices his anchor or fishing gear to avoid damaging a cable may claim for compensation, if he has taken all reasonable care in advance to avoid damage and if he provides evidence of this sacrifice. However, if a person damages a cable intentionally or by culpable negligence, such damage is illegal and the responsible person may be liable for expensive repair costs.
In case of a suspected snag on this cable, call the emergency number: (786) 521-2885.