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In a first, a cargo ship strikes an offshore wind turbine

Posted on May 1, 2023

A cargo ship struck an offshore wind turbine at the 330-megawatt (MW) Gode Wind 1 wind farm in the German North Sea.

The 55-turbine Gode 1 offshore wind farm, which is 45 km (28 miles) off the German coast, is owned by Danish wind giant Ørsted.

The general cargo ship is called the Petra L, and it’s flagged in Antigua. The cargo ship was sailing from Szczecin, Poland, to Belgium with 1,500 tons of grain when it hit an offshore wind turbine at Gode Wind 1 at around 6 p.m. on April 24.

The German water police reported that it sustained massive damage in the form of a 3-by-5-meter hole on its starboard side. The ship reported water ingress but was able to make it to port at Emden, Germany, on April 25. No one was injured.

A spokesperson for Ørsted said [via Offshore Energy]:

On 24 April, a cargo ship collided with a wind turbine at Orsted’s Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm. No persons were injured in the incident. Further investigations have already been launched. The cargo ship itself did not directly contact the maritime surveillance, but Orsted’s in-house control center has documented the incident. The offshore wind turbine involved has been taken out of operation for further investigation.

This is apparently the first time a cargo ship has hit a wind farm, and the incident is now under investigation by local authorities, who don’t yet know what caused the collision. They will work to determine whether any safety protocols were breached.


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