Vector has a number of underwater cables in the Hauraki Gulf, providing power to island communities, and in the Waitemata Harbour, providing vital links in the Auckland network.
The cables carry up to 33,000 volts, so damage to the cables could result in death or serious injury, as well as lengthy power cuts to the island communities.
To avoid an accident with these cables, boaties are not permitted to fish or anchor over the cable routes. Markers show where cables enter and leave the water, and routes are shown on marine charts NZ 5324 and NZ 533. Maps showing the general locations of our submarine cables are provided here
Because of the safety risk and the potential disruption to thousands of people, penalties for wilfully damaging the underwater cables can be more than $250,000 plus costs to repair any broken cables.
If you snag an underwater cable, don’t try to tug it free. The safest thing to do is note your position and then abandon your gear. Call 0508 VECTOR (0508 832 867) with the location details. We may retrieve the equipment or reimburse you for the cost of replacing the abandoned equipment.
Watch out for overhead lines around boat ramps, mast-heads or when towing your boat on land. If a boat mast has brought down the power lines around a vehicle, the safest way to avoid electric shock is for occupants to stay in the vehicle until help arrives. They should only try to get away from the vehicle if another urgent situation, such as a fire in the car, forces them to evacuate.
In the event of an electrical shock, don’t touch the victim until you are certain the source of electricity has been removed. Call 111.