Petra L. cargo ship damage after Gode Wind 1 turbine collision

Cargo Ship-Hit Gode Wind 1 Turbine Went Back Into Service in 24 Hours; Vessel Said to Have Been Kilometres Off Course

The turbine at the Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm in Germany that was hit by a cargo vessel last month was put back into service around 24 hours after being taken out of operation for inspection, Ørsted tells According to reports by German media, the vessel, which sustained major damage, was on autopilot and sailing off course before crashing into the turbine.

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As reported by our sibling site Offshore Energy Green Marine last month, the German Water Protection Police (Wasserschutzpolizei; WSP) said on 25 April that the cargo vessel Petra L. arrived that day from Szczecin, Poland, to Emden, Germany, with massive damage on its starboard side, resulting in a 5×3 metre hole in the hull and reported water ingress.

In response to Offshore Energy – Green Marine‘s inquiry, Ørsted confirmed that a cargo vessel allided with a wind turbine at the Gode Wind 1 offshore wind farm, located about 45 kilometres from the coast and 33 kilometres off the islands of Juist and Norderney.

Petra L. cargo ship damage after Gode Wind 1 turbine collision
Photo courtesy of Wasserschutzpolizeiinspektion Oldenburg

The turbine involved was taken out of operation immediately for further investigation, the majority owner and operator of the 330 MW offshore wind farm said.

Now, Ørsted has told that the wind turbine was put back into service shortly after that, with further investigations and inspections resuming.

“The turbine was taken out of operation for initial investigations back in April, but got back into operation around 24 hours later. Further investigations are still ongoing and additional inspections are planned for final conclusions”, a spokesperson from Ørsted said.

Gode Wind 1, part of the Gode Wind 1 & 2 duo which has been operational since 2017, comprises 55 Siemens Gamesa 6 MW wind turbines installed on foundations manufactured by EEW (monopiles) and Bladt Industries (transition pieces).

Allision Classified as “Serious” Crash, Petra L. Said to Have Been Kilometres Off Course

The German Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU), which has launched an investigation, has classified the allision as a “serious marine crash” (Schwerer Seeunfall), the second in terms of severity in BSU’s classification of incidents and accidents.

“The BSU has initiated the investigation into the allision of the general cargo ship PETRA L (IMO 8205187) with a wind turbine at the Godewind 1 offshore wind farm within the German EEZ in the North Sea at around 20:00 (CEST) on 24 April 2023. After the allision, the vessel proceeded to Emden under its own power without tug assistance. There was considerable property damage”, the German federal agency said on social media in April.

Photo source: BSU

In its statement sent to Offshore Energy – Green Marine last month, Ørsted said that “[the] cargo ship itself did not directly contact the maritime surveillance” but that the company’s in-house control centre had documented the incident.

According to German public radio and television broadcaster NDR, the captain of Petra L. did not report the crash to the district headquarters of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration and did not register at the Port of Emden, which the ship ended up calling and where it subsequently docked to undergo repair.

This constitutes a violation of administrative procedures and has led to a hearing in Germany, which otherwise would not have been required since neither the vessel nor the crew are German and the incident happened outside the twelve-nautical-mile zone, according to the national media.

German media also reports that the 1984-built cargo ship, which was loaded with 1,500 tonnes of grain destined for Antwerp, Belgium, was kilometres off course and was sailing on autopilot, and that monitoring systems at the wind farm had not registered the allision.

NDR also reported that, according to the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, both the offshore wind farm operator and the Federal Traffic Center, which monitor the wind farms, would have been obliged to contact the cargo ship’s captain. NDR cited Ørsted’s Managing Director in Germany, Malte Hippe, as saying the company did not do so as the vessel entered the area only briefly and turned away after the incident, without making any calls or reporting the allision. The German Bight Traffic Center did not comment on this at the time (27 April) as the investigation had started.

According to updates by German media from earlier this month, the investigations and the hearing are underway and the captain, who is represented by a lawyer, had not provided details on the exact circumstances of the incident.


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