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Fishermen finds sub in his path

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Fishermen finds sub in his path

Postby U-5075 » Thu May 21, 2009 8:18 pm ... 062619.stm

Fishermen finds sub in his path

A west coast fisherman is set to be compensated by the MoD after he was forced to take evasive action during a Nato exercise which wrecked his nets.

The Silver Cloud was fishing off Kinlochbervie when it was ordered to turn round because there was a submarine lying directly in its path.

John MacKenzie was forced to turn his boat, which resulted in his brand new nets being torn to shreds.

The Joint Warrior exercise has been ongoing for the past two weeks.

The incident happened in the North Minch on Wednesday.

Rare incidents

Mr MacKenzie said that when initially given the order to turn round, he replied saying that was impossible and he had no time to haul the nets.

He was then given a second order which he said was accompanied by a helicopter overhead.

It is understood the submarine was French.

Mr MacKenzie has applied for compensation and understands he is likely to receive it.

The Mallaig and Northwest Fishermen's Association, of which he is a member, said such incidents were rare because the Royal Navy kept them well-informed about such exercises.

They said this incident had been caused by the unpredictable weather but that the Navy had handled the incident well.
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Postby DavieTait » Fri May 22, 2009 3:25 pm


Thats the fishing boat in question. The skipper is absolutely furious , lost about $18,000 worth of net because he had to violently alter course right onto rocky ground ( where he was fishing had an area of mud close to rocks and you get the biggest prawns [ Nephrops / Langoustines ] and towing close to the rocks is common with modern nav equipment ).

The fishing boat Antares LH434
was sunk with the loss of all 4 crew onboard by the Royal Navy SSN HMS Trenchant when her trawl wires were snagged on the SSN's hull and she was dragged astern sinking her almost instantly.

Since the Antares was lost the fishermen were supposed to be informed when submerged subs were in their area but that didn't happen in this case which I find totally unacceptable. The French sub could easily have moved out of her way as the Silver Cloud would only have been towing at 2.5 knots max .....
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navy verus civ.

Postby tincanrider » Fri May 22, 2009 7:17 pm

I though that navy warships had right of way over civilian vessels?
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Re: navy verus civ.

Postby hakkikt » Sat May 23, 2009 3:06 am

tincanrider wrote:I though that navy warships had right of way over civilian vessels?

That might be a bit of a problem where a submerged submarine is involved. :)
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Postby U-5075 » Sat May 23, 2009 9:04 am

Military vessels versus civilian. Some thoughts.

The general rule of thumb is that the burdened vessel (the one with the least maneuverability) is the one with the right-of-way.

Vessels limited in maneuverability include.
Any vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver, such as a vessel towing or laying cable or a vessel constrained by its draft such as a large ship in a channel
A vessel engaged in commercial fishing. [This is basically one that is towing a big long net.]

If the fishing vessel was towing a big, long net, there was probably no way that it could have gotten out of the way of the submarine. It could have chopped the lines to its nets, but nets are expensive

There is another boating law, and it is the law of physics. The big, super tankers are both the length and mass of several city blocks worth of buildings. On intersecting courses normally a boat under sail has the right of way over a power boat. But when the power boat is a mega-ship and the sailboat is a 30-footer. the sailboat HAS TO give way. Reductio ad absurdum, a sail board can go 30 knots in a strong wind, then stop "on a dime" and roar off in the opposite direction. For a this sail board to challenge a mega-ship 'cause it is simply a sailboat it is a bit inconsiderate -- and suicidal.

SUB VERSUS................ ... marine.htm

The Invisible Surfaced Submarine
Topic/issue: Submarine Operations (Surface)


Description: The submariner’s main focus is to remain undetected. While operating at periscope depth, they practice strict periscope discipline to minimize the opportunity for a surface vessel or aircraft to spot the periscope or wake through visual or electronic means. In so doing, submariners have instilled a mentality that the periscope is very easy to spot for even the most inexperienced adversary, and “If you can see them, then they can see you.” This is an effective mindset to have while trying to remain undetected. However, it has an unintended and potentially dangerous side effect while operating on the surface and making contact-management decisions based on this assumption.

In a recent collision, a merchant ship apparently violated the rules of the road (from the submarine's perspective) and turned right for a head-on situation. However, the merchant likely had no idea that the submarine was there, and therefore, was not constrained by the rules of the road since it was not "in sight" of another vessel in which a risk of collision existed.

The Undersea Enterprise (USE) conducted two studies to identify how difficult a surfaced submarine is to see and what measures or practices we can use to enhance visibility. The first study evaluated the three most commonly used radar reflectors. The second study looked at a submarine on the surface from the surface ship's perspective. The study found that, outside of 10K yards for an SSBN and 6,000 yards for an SSN, submarines were nearly impossible to see unless the merchant knew exactly where to look (i.e., had a radar return of the submarine) and used binoculars to look down the bearing of the radar return. Within those ranges, the submarine was visible to the naked eye, but was not discernable as a submarine and was easily mis-classified as a small craft.

The recent collision reinforced the difficulty of sighting a surfaced submarine at night. Background lighting, surrounding contact density, weather and sea state significantly impact the visibility of a surfaced submarine. When viewed from astern at night, and without the submarine ID beacon operating, a submarine may be confused with a small vessel due to the low height of the stern light and difficulty seeing the submarine hull.

Submarines must take measures to mitigate this risk and provide a better opportunity to ensure their presence is known. This includes use of radar reflectors, the submarine identification beacon during hours of darkness or when in reduced visibility, and bridge-to-bridge radios to communicate their presence. If the decision is made to not overtly advertise presence because of force protection concerns, then the command element must conduct a careful operational risk management analysis to ensure that additional mitigating measures are put in place to offset the reduced margin of safety.
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Postby wlambing » Sat May 23, 2009 9:32 am


If you are referring to Hartford vs. New Orleans, the submarine was submerged. Submerged submarines are obligated to give way. Been that way for eons. Surfaced submarines are "burdened vessels" and are also obligated to give way. Burdened vessels do not have the right of way.


"If you ignore the problem long enough, it will go away. Even flooding stops eventually!"
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Postby U-5075 » Sat May 23, 2009 10:40 am


I'm not sure of what the conditions were. So I did the shotgun approach by throwing out a bunch of rules of thumb. Hopefully the fisherman will get compensated for the loss of his nets, plus a bit more.

A submarine has the hull shape of a telephone pole (it cannot maneuver well) and if it is sitting still, things are worse.... add to this relatively shallow water in that area -- especially for the sub as well as for the fishing boat. This is a wait and see what happens later.

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Postby DavieTait » Sat May 23, 2009 10:42 am

That is the arguement going on just now , a submerged submarine can easily put up a burst of speed for 5 minutes to completely clear the path of a fishing boat towing gear. They also left it dangerously late before demanding the fishing boat alter course. I cannot understand why the sub put itself in that position , its not as if a fishing boat is quiet....

Put it this way the boat in question has a 250hp Daewoo diesel ( operating rpm around 1500 ) swinging a 48" 4 bladed prop ( geared down to around 250rpm ) , there is no sound insulation in the engineroom and the engine is hard mounted to the hull , her hull is wooden which might have cut transmitted noise by 10% though , she was towing a single prawn trawl so had 175fm of wire out ( times 2 so a lot of surface noise due to aeration ) 2 4ftx2 1/2ft steel otter doors ( each almost 1/2 a ton ) to open the net ( underwater horizontal kites really ) and they make a lot of noise dragging across the bottom , 40fm of wire to the net which has 180ft of rubber and chain groundgear which makes a hell of a noise ( think a steel bucket of steel bolts being vibrated constantly ) and then there is the water drag noise from the net itself. I know about this as the sounds of the gear are clearly heard in the research vessel net trials that were done in the 1970's ( I have a few on video ) with very basic enclosed mic's in the divers masks so not even a proper hydrophone.

Any WW2 sub would have heard this fishing boat without needing its sonar at closer than 1/2 a mile so there was absolutely no need for this incident to have happened.

It is the fact that 4 men were killed in the past that meant the new rules came into force and up till now we haven't had an incident like this , unfortunately it looks like the Captain of the French sub either was not fully briefed on how to handle the situation or chose to ignore standing orders. Regardless of whether it was an SSK or SSN either would have been more than able to get out of the way in plenty of time.
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Compensation on offer after net destroyed in sub encounter

Postby DavieTait » Mon May 25, 2009 4:10 pm

from the fishing industry site Fishnewseu ... nter-.html

Monday, 25 May 2009 11:02

A SCOTTISH West Coast fisherman is being offered compensation after his net was destroyed when he was forced to take evasive action by a submarine involved in the NATO exercise Joint Warrior.

The incident happened last Wednesday as the Silver Cloud was fishing for prawns on the Clash Deeps off the Northwest Sutherland coast near Kinlochbervie.

The Silver Cloud which works out of Gairloch, was towing a brand new trawl net as it sailed south. Owner John MacKenzie said he was hailed on the radio and ordered to alter course by 180degrees and head north.

Mr MacKenzie said he was shocked at first. "I told them that it wasn't possible, because I was towing the trawl. I got another order to turn around, with a warning that there was a submarine straight ahead. A helicopter appeared as well and hovered over the boat. I had no option but to turn around, I didn't even have time to haul the net and as I turned, the net, which was brand new, was torn to shreds," he said.

The submarine is understood to be French and was one of the components of the NATO exercise Joint Warrior which has been ongoing in the Northeast Atlantic for the past two weeks, and which has involved land, marine and air forces from a number of European countries and the United States.

Mr MacKenzie said: "I couldn't believe that there was a submarine exercising in our fishing grounds, when they have the whole North Atlantic to play around in. The net was more or less brand new. I bought it in Fraserburgh just a few days ago and this was the third time I used it."

He added: "I hope to get compensation for the loss of the net. It can't be repaired and I've filled in the form and hopefully I'll be back fishing for prawns as quickly as possible."

John Hermse of the Mallaig and North-west Fishermen's Association said that there are very few incidents of this kind, and that the Royal Navy has behaved very responsibly over the incident. He said: "There is a major exercise going on and we endeavour to work closely with officials from the Royal Navy at all times. There are occasions with the vagaries of weather when things do go slightly wrong but there are very few interactions between the fishermen and Royal Navy vessels. As far as we're concerned the Royal Navy has handled this very well."
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Postby U-5075 » Thu May 28, 2009 4:41 pm

Désolé! French Sub nearly sinks ship
Thursday, May 28, 2009

A French submarine in British territorial waters nearly sunk a fishing trawler it has emerged.

Last week during a multi national training exercise Exercise Joint Warrior, a French nuclear powered submarine nearly smashed into a fishing trawler off the coast of Scotland.

MFV Silver Cloud was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with the sub. The ship did sustain damage to its fishing nets.

Although the national identity of the submarine has not been officially confirmed, officials from the Celtic League, an advocacy group that aims to "contribute, as an international organisation, to the struggles of the six Celtic nations" have written two official complaints to the International Maritime Organisation over the incident.

"This week there was a further incident in which a Scottish MFV was involved with an incident with a French submarine during multi-national exercises taking place of the West of Scotland," J B Moffatt, the Celtic League's Director of Information said.

Celtic League officials including Moffatt have argued that it is the responsibility of the Royal Navy to ensure the safety of fishing vessels in areas where submarines are operating.

Neither the MoD or the French Defence Ministry would comment on the report.

Exercise Joint Warrior is being run by all three branches of the Armed Forces and also includes 12 NATO and allied nations.

"The exercise is one of the major training opportunities for UK Forces in 2009, and will provide joint collective training and pre-deployment training in a multi-threat environment," the MoD said in a statement earlier this month.

The exercise included 85 aircraft, 22 ships, 3 submarines and a number land units. The majority of the exercise took place off the coast of Wales, north western England and Scotland.

The exercises are expected to include simulated war training on land, sea and in the air.
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