Wasserschutzpolizeiinspektion Oldenburg

Cargo ship strikes turbine at Orsted’s Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm, suffers massive damage

A cargo ship arrived in Emden, Germany with a massive hole in its hull after reportedly striking a wind farm.

Image credit: Wasserschutzpolizeiinspektion Oldenburg

According to the German water police, the damaged vessel arrived from Szczecin, Poland to Emden on April 25, 2023. The Antigua-flagged vessel was loaded with 1,500 tons of grain destined for Antwerp.

The vessel in question has been identified as the general cargo ship Petra L. (1,685 dwt) built in 1984.

The vessel sustained massive damage on its starboard side, resulting in a 5×3 meter hole in the hull and reported water ingress, the police said. The ship was able to make it to port in Germany where it is currently being assessed for damages.

The Water Protection Police (WSP) in Emden added that it was unclear what was the cause of the incident, adding that an investigation was underway together with other relevant institutions.

Danish Ørsted, the operator of Gode Wind in the North Sea, has confirmed the incident to Offshore Energy-Green Marine, saying that a vessel struck a wind turbine at the Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm.

The offshore wind farm is located about 45 kilometers from the coast and 33 km off the islands of Juist and Norderney. A total of 55 wind turbines have been installed at the Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm. The turbines have a rotor diameter of 154 m.

“On 24 April, a cargo ship collided with a wind turbine at Orsted’s Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm. No persons were injured in the incident. Further investigations have already been launched. The cargo ship itself did not directly contact the maritime surveillance, but Orsted’s in-house control center has documented the incident. The offshore wind turbine involved has been taken out of operation for further investigation,” a spokesperson for Ørsted Wind said.

The incident is currently under investigation by local authorities, who are working to determine the cause of the collision and whether any safety protocols were breached. The cargo ship’s crew has been interviewed as part of the investigation, and further details are expected to emerge in the coming days.

This is said to be the first incident of the kind involving a cargo ship and a wind farm. However, it serves as a reminder of the potential risks involved in shipping and the importance of maintaining strict safety protocols to prevent accidents.

As the use of renewable energy sources such as wind farms continues to grow, it is essential to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect both the environment and those working in the industry.