What to do if your anchor is hung up on cables? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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What to do if your anchor is hung up on cables?

Well i lost one of my new Oceane anchors today. It was hung up on 4 large cables that i believe to be power or phone cables as they were humming. I didn't lose that anchor for any lack of trying to save it.

Today was my day for moving the boat from the anchorage to a creek near my home for the rest of winter. We must have spent 2 hours trying to get the anchor back. After winching it up useing the sheet winches with the rode ran over one of my mast winches we found it was hung up on cables of some sort. I got the anchor to about 4' of the surface, but that was it. After getting in the water and figureing out what was going on, i decided to try attaching a trip line to the hole in the anchor for one. After winching the trip line to try lose the cables, they just hung on. Figure maybe i could remove the chain from the rope and maybe get it up that way. Got the chain loose and started winching on the trip line again and the trip line gave. Goodbye anchor....

Oh yea, i had a line around the cables but for some reason had it just laying on deck and not attached.

What would you have done?


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post #2 of 12 Old 09-04-2008
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wasn't the chart marked for the cables????

use a stronger trip line in the future.

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post #3 of 12 Old 09-04-2008 Thread Starter
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Nothing on the chart, this is an anchorage. I was in the big anchorage right across from Charleston City Marina.

Heres a warning for anyone in that area, dont anchor between the CM bath house and the range marker. I was pretty much right between them. On another note, if you do anchor there and happen to pull up a 38# Oceane anchor with 15' of rusty chain, let me know, ill pay a reward. Also watch out in that area, theres a big glob of old rusty steel cables from a crane or something that was hung up on my other anchor.


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post #4 of 12 Old 09-04-2008
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If you can get a line around the cables and secure each end to your bow cleats, you then drop the anchor and use an oar or boat hook to knock it free.

With multiple cables, use a boathook to slither a dockline through one cable at a time, freeing it and dropping it.

Never do anything around any cables you suspect of being electrical without gloves. Never drop your connection to your anchor unless you have already accepted it as lost. Always consider a lost anchor as the perfect time to upgrade. For your boat, a 45 lb Spade and 200 ft of 5/16 BBB chain with a dual direction windlass. Oh, yeah. . . . . Just a thought.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-04-2008
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What was the depth - could you have actually dived to get it - not like Charleston Water temps are like PNW - you ha it to four foot - you could of dove it maybe.. otherwise cut and let lesson lie..

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-04-2008
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Bummer dude..Phone lines dont hum..Consider your self Fortunate you didnt get fried and the loss of a couple hundred wont hurt as bad..

I would report it to the Harbor master..I should think it illegal to have cabel crossings unmarked in this day and age..If so Id be after whom ever ownes the cabled to replace my anchor...That was a 45lb Ronca wasent it?...
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-05-2008
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If I hooked into cables I wouldn't tell anybody, not ANYBODY. There was a luckless fellow here in NZ some time ago who hooked a primary international comms cable and "tore it up a little". I understand it cost him many thousands of dollars to have it properly lifted, restored and relocated.

The Coast Guard here warn that if the vessel that performs the lift-out of the cable for repairs happens to be in Fiji or somewhere similar, they will charge you to bring the vessel back to do the resoration job and that could run into hundreds of thousands of $$.

Maybe they're just trying to scare us but hey, why take the chance? If I accidentally hooked such a cable, I'd wait to hear the result on the news!!

Andre
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post #8 of 12 Old 09-05-2008
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probably the best thing would be to call a free diver/ scuba diver, coast guard or police. next technique is to tie a fender to anchor rope and go for help with the boat. but buzzing cable not signed on a chart + who will mess with it? it's not goodbye anchor -> call in local diving clubs/ police and find out if someone is prepared to save it

Last edited by Karletto; 09-05-2008 at 05:44 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-05-2008
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IMHO, and i believe the law supports this as well, since the area wasn't marked as off-limits to anchoring, or at least that would appear to be the case, and the cable wasn't marked on the charts, the company would have very little recourse if SVDS damaged the cables. He did nothing wrong.

IMHO, the harbor master and USCG should be notified of the cables, if for no other reason, to update the charts and prevent someone from cutting into the humming cables by accident in the future.

BTW, I wouldn't go diving near humming cables...any leakage of AC current could kill you stone cold dead before you knew it was happening.

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Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
If I hooked into cables I wouldn't tell anybody, not ANYBODY. There was a luckless fellow here in NZ some time ago who hooked a primary international comms cable and "tore it up a little". I understand it cost him many thousands of dollars to have it properly lifted, restored and relocated.

The Coast Guard here warn that if the vessel that performs the lift-out of the cable for repairs happens to be in Fiji or somewhere similar, they will charge you to bring the vessel back to do the resoration job and that could run into hundreds of thousands of $$.

Maybe they're just trying to scare us but hey, why take the chance? If I accidentally hooked such a cable, I'd wait to hear the result on the news!!

Andre

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-05-2008
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If it was near the surface I would have put a small float on a line and pushed the float under the cable with a boat pole,then tied off both ends of that line on deck.Now lower the anchor untill it is free and then release the line holding the cable.
Underwater electric cables are well protected with aluminum sheath and plastic covering over that.If there was any damage to the cable I might cut the anchor free to avoid any risk of shock.
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