Vessel hits Walney wind foundation

A ship leaking diesel is being taken back to port following a collision with a turbine monopile at Dong Energy’s Walney wind farm in the Irish Sea, off northwest England.

A spokesman for the Liverpool Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre told Recharge the standby safety vessel OMS Pollux had collided yesterday with a foundation at the 51-turbine, 367MW plant.

The Danish-registered vessel, with a crew of around 18 on board, remained afloat and there were no reported injuries. A lifeboat was scrambled to help the ship.

An aircraft from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s counter-pollution team reported that a surface sheen around 0.7 nautical miles in length was seen trailing the vessel.

A multi-agency environment group set up to respond to this type of incident – comprising local authorities, emergency services, government agencies and other stakeholders – met yesterday to assess the situation.

Dong Energy UK said the accident happened after an anchor cable broke while the vessel was carrying out routine inspection work.

It added: "In terms of damage to the Walney turbine/operations, there was only cosmetic damage to the turbine, it never stopped, and operations of the wind farm were not impacted."