The August 2013 issue of Practical Boat Owner has just arrived. It has an article by Dick Everitt called “Mind your head …” in which he talks of dangers to boats from above rather than below: dangers from bridges and from electric power lines. He points out that electricity can jump to a metal mast and says:
So a safe clearance distance is given on the chart with a lightning-type symbol and in some countries a big warning sign is positioned nearby too. But do check local Notices to Mariners as long power cables can sag over time, reducing their official charted clearances.
Aren’t foreigners funny? Imagine having electricity suppliers actually telling boaters about the safe clearance under power cables! That would never happen here ….
I have spent several years trying to get ESB to tell me the safe clearances for cables across the Shannon. I thought I was getting somewhere at one stage but nothing happened. Perhaps ESB would prefer boaters to fry than risk getting sued for getting the clearance wrong.