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Legal Commentary
Actions taken by Orange in the interests of security
Compensation for hook events
The 1,000-metre rule
Hook events and English cables




Legal Commentary

The legal commentary included in this site is provided for purposes of information, and its completeness and accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Consult a lawyer for any advice needed on legal matters..




Actions taken by Orange in the interests of security

Communication with fishermen

  • Considerable effort is being made on the part of Orange to inform fishermen about the situation vis-à-vis submarine cables.
  • Orange is planning to organise a series of conferences in the Marine training establishments to make future skippers or captains of fishing vessels aware of the rules governing protection of submarine cables.
Recovery of old submarine cables
Orange periodically organises operations to recover old out of service cables with a view to reducing risk to fishing vessels on the continental shelf.



Compensation for hook events

When a fishing vessel is unexpectedly halted in its progress, the presence of a submarine cable may be suspected.
Many vessels have electronic navigation systems which show the layout of submarine cables within the fishing zones under scrutiny. These boats can navigate with greater security than those boats not equipped with such systems.
These navigators should consult our Internet site to discover the whereabouts of cable routes. In any event, if a boat suspects they have snagged a cable, they should :

  1. Take a bearing of the ship's position on the SHOM chart
  2. If an active cable is known to be in the immediate vicinity of your position,
    the warps should be cut
  3. leave a message on the Orange answering machine to communicate the information required to fill in the simplified report of a hook event (only available in France).
    Numéro Vert : 0 800 481 226
  4. Within the 24 hours after arrival in port, fill in the "report of supposed snag/hook on a submarine cable", which takes the following form :
    Téléchargez le modèle au format PDF Téléchargez le modèle au format texte Suspected hook on submarine cable report
  5. Send a copy of the sea report for the attention of the Maritime Office to the following address:
    Orange IBNF/NSS
    Operations & Maintenance
    61, rue des Archives
    75141 PARIS Cedex 03
  6. Draw up an estimate of the equipment lost certified by an expert in the domain, and send it to the address given in point 5 above.
    Téléchargez le modèle au format PDF Téléchargez le modèle au format texte Hook official report
    This questionnaire should be completed and sent at the time the hook event occurs. The Orange contact point will ask for it at this time. It includes the necessary form for requesting a refund for lost equipment.



The 1,000-metre rule

This rule exists with regard to abandoning trawling gear, and permits fishing vessels to immediately drop their fishing gear in the event of a presumed cable hooking incident within a 1,000 metre zone on either side of a recognised active cable route, with an absolute guarantee of having their gear refunded even where other known hooking points (rocks or a wreck) exist in the same area.

The 1,000 metre threshold is the cumulative result of a generous assessment of the possible error in the laying of the cable, its position on the chart, the position of the trawler, and the geographic position as indicated by the GPS.




Hook events and English cables

Where a French vessel hooks an English cable, the procedure to follow is as described in the published guide entitled " Compensation for a cable hooking incident "

Orange may decide to collect the documentation necessary to any claim and to send it to the English operator, who will adopt any measures he deems necessary.




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