Published on February 7th, 2009 | by Timothy B. Hurst0
42 Offshore Wind Farm Workers Rescued from UK Barge
February 7th, 2009 by Timothy B. Hurst
Forty-two offshore wind farm workers who became stranded on a barely-anchored barge were rescued after several uneasy hours in the stormy seas off the coast of Cumbria northwest of England.
Late last week, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency reported that the stranded wind farm workers were aboard the 270ft UR 101 barge laying cables between turbines at at the partially operational Robin Rigg Wind Farm, 9km out to sea between England and Scotland, when 16 foot seas and winds of 48 knots caused three of the barge’s four anchors to snap. Tethered by just one anchor, the barge was in real danger of breaking free in a vast marine field of turbine foundations.
After help arrived, only thirty-three of the barge occupants evacuated to rescue vessels, while nine stayed behind to secure the dangerously loose barge. But weather conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the night and efforts to secure the barge failed, so a decision was made to tow the barge back to land, preventing it from crashing into any of the turbine foundations.
Owned and operated by British utility E.ON UK, Robin Rigg just opened with their first phase in October of 2008. When fully operational, the project will have 60 Vestas V90 turbines with a 180MW generating capacity – enough to power an estimated 120,000 homes.
Company officials said they do not believe the incident will have any impact on final completion of the project.
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