Safety of Wind Support Vessels Assessed

windfarm worker
file photo

Published Mar 30, 2017 9:50 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Danish Maritime Authority has worked with experts from the offshore wind industry to develop a safety analysis of vessels carrying wind turbine technicians.

The analysis, published by DNV GL, could be used to harmonize safety regulations for high-speed vessels that transports more than 12 wind turbine technicians, says the Danish Maritime Authority, establishing an equivalent safety standard to the existing passenger craft safety standard. Current regulations only cover up to 12 personnel on board, but there is a need in the industry to increase this number to up to 60 people on board.

High-speed windfarm vessels carry a risk scenario considerably different from that of both ordinary cargo ships and passenger ships. Their operation includes transit to and from wind farms, docking at turbines, transfer of personnel and equipment and the potential for 24-hour operation and overnight accommodation.

Major risks are related to fire, hull and accommodation integrity, stability, man-over-board, incorrect handling and storage of dangerous goods and unsuccessful evacuation and rescue.

Director Per Sønderstrup from the Danish Maritime Authority said: “The safety analysis shows that there is good reason to focus on safety on board these vessels, and it provides important insights into these special ship operations. "

The safety analysis was made as a follow-up on the report that the Danish Maritime Authority published in January 2016. This report identified the regulations and industry standards applicable to maritime operations in the Danish, British, German and Netherland offshore wind sector.

The organization wants the IMO to adopt international standards. 

The report is available here.