Danes lift sailing restrictions near Nord Stream leaks

Danes lift sailing restrictions near Nord Stream leaks

Denmark has lifted the restrictions on sailing around the leakage points of the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea, stating the area was no longer dangerous.

Bubbles on the water surface above the leaks; Source: Danish Defense

The Danish Energy Agency issued a recommendation that the no-sailing zones around the leakage points on Nord Stream 1 and 2 be lifted, as the resulting gas clouds from the potential gas blowout do not pose a danger to ships in the area.

Following the recommendation, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) lifted the restrictions on 20 April.

However, DMA reported that it was discouraging anchoring, fishing and work on the seabed within a distance of 1 nautical mile from the leak positions due to “underwater obstacles”.

The restricted areas will no longer appear in the maritime authority’s navigation warnings but will be announced in Notices for Seafarers.

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The Nord Stream twin pipeline system runs from Vyborg, Russia, to Lubmin near Greifswald, Germany, and crosses the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, as well as the territorial waters of Russia, Denmark, and Germany.

Four gas leaks were found on the pipelines in September 2022, two in Sweden’s EEZ and two in the Danish territory. After the Norwegian and Swedish seismic institutes had confirmed that underwater blasts preceded the leaks, European authorities said they suspected that the incident could be the result of “deliberate actions”.

Gas leaks stopped at the beginning of October after stable pressure was achieved, followed by the kick-off of the damage assessment.

On 23 March, the Danish Energy Agency reported that a cylindrical object about 40 cm tall and 10 cm in diameter was found near the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The object was salvaged five days later.