Offshore wind vessel drops 126 tonne rotor sideways
Last week, a 126-ton wind turbine rotor assembly and three blades fell into the sea during maintenance of the Ormonde wind farm at Vattenfall, an offshore installation in the Irish Sea. A crew member filmed the incident and it was shared widely on social media.
Wind rotor hub and blades detach from crane and fall into ocean at Ormonde wind farm west of Barrow-in-Furness in the Irish Sea pic.twitter.com/OWOaAhkWyW
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The company said no one was injured in the incident and an investigation is underway. A cleaning company was hired to inspect the area, determine where debris may have drifted, and recover any lost parts. However, bad weather has so far hampered rescue efforts. A self-elevating vessel is secured at the scene until a survey is complete to ensure it can lower safely.
Ormonde is located just six miles off the coast of Barrow-in-Furness, UK, and local communities have been alerted to the possibility of floating a wreck. Residents reported large pieces of wreckage on the shore.
Debris from the Ormonde incident (Vattenfall)
“We take environmental protection very seriously and are very disappointed that this incident has happened. We are working as hard as possible to clean everything up,” a spokesperson told the BBC. “Debris isn’t harmful, but it’s best not to touch it, just to make sure everyone stays safe from accidents.”
Over the past few days, an environmental management team has recovered wrecks from nearby Walney Island, Millom Beach and Haverigg Beach. According to Vattenfall, it is possible for the tide to carry debris over a large area.
Ormonde is 49 percent owned by the Swedish pension fund AMF and operated by Vattenfall. It is maintained from an operating facility in Barrow, and it has supported around 800 UK jobs over its lifetime.
Ormonde was the first project built with 5 MW offshore turbines made by Senvion, a now defunct German company that declared insolvency in 2019.