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A Dynamically Positioned vessel experienced a loss of dynamic positioning (DP) control while installing cable within a wind farm.
The incident occurred during the cable lay operation. The DP manual override command on the navigation bridge was inadvertently activated, which caused a loss of DP control over 6 of the thrusters, resulting in the vessel drifting off position.
Without forward thrust, the vessel was pulled astern by approximately 15 metres due to the action of the cable tensioners. This resulted in a section of the cable, approximately 36 metres in length, being damaged.
The bridge crew managed to manually regain DP control by returning each thruster to DP. The personnel in the working area were accounted for, with no injuries reported, and no damage to other assets or equipment was reported. The cable was secured and laid down in a controlled manner, and the vessel was relocated outside the windfarm to prevent further incidents. An investigation into the cause of the DP loss was initiated.

The following case studies and observations have been compiled from information received by IMCA. All vessel, client, and operational data has been removed from the narrative to ensure anonymity.

Case studies are not intended as guidance on the safe conduct of operations, but rather to assist vessel managers, DP operators and DP technical crew in appropriately determining how to safely conduct their own operations. Any queries should be directed to IMCA at [email protected]. Members and non-members alike are welcome to contact IMCA if they have experienced DP events which can be shared anonymously with the DP industry.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.