N1 survey vessel in French yacht mercy dash

Askholmen 1

The Askholmen (above), currently surveying the seabed for Jersey Electricity’s latest subsea power cable project, was called from its surveying duties this morning to go to the aid of a French yacht in distress off St Aubin’s Bay.

The 21-metre Askholmen is under charter by JE from Swedish company MMT. It has been working on surveying the 27km route of the new £40m Normandie 1 (N1) supply cable from Archirondel to St Remy des Landes, Normandy, since 13 July.

At 8.30 this morning she received an emergency radio call. David Sinclair, acting as Client Representative for Jersey Electricity, said; ‘The French yacht Flash was in distress having lost ability to steer. She was adrift close to the buoy Hinguette, off St Aubin's Bay and Askholmen was asked to deviate course and assist the Jersey coastguard vessel Rival in helping the yacht. We arrived together and Rival was able to ensure the yacht  could be towed back to St Helier, releasing Askholmen to resume her survey works for Jersey Electricity.’

Askholmen is a specialist near shore vessel for high-resolution hydrographic mapping in depths of 2-250 metres. The vessel is designed with shallow draught and compact dimensions, which enables 12-hour operations in remote areas with shallow water depths.

When complete, N1 will give Jersey three in-service undersea supply links to France.

The latest 100MW cable is a direct replacement for EDF1, Jersey’s first 55MW interconnector installed in 1984, which came to the end of its life in 2012. N1 is expected in service in 2017. Along with the 100MW N3, completed last September, and the 90MW 2000 cable N2, N1 will enable JE to import Jersey’s full electricity requirement with low carbon supplies even during the winter peaks.