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Exploring Emergency Response for offshore wind in New England

Published on 18 December 2023

IMCA, in partnership with Board member G+, hosted the Offshore Wind Emergency Response workshop at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in November.

80 delegates were in attendance including representatives from contractors, developers, the emergency services and regulators. Welcoming attendees to the event, Dustin Varnell of IMCA introduced New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell. Taking time out of his busy schedule, Mayor Mitchell addressed the workshop emphasising the importance of offshore wind as the next step in New Bedford’s long and proud maritime legacy.

The workshop started with an introduction from Beate Hildenbrand (G+) and explored emergency response in North American offshore wind from three different perspectives which explored current practice and critical requirements. Martin Malloy (Avangrid) and Jared Dent (Boskalis) gave thought provoking sessions from the point of view of a developer and a contractor, respectively. This was followed by Lt Cdr Chris Bradbury’s team providing the US Coast Guard view of Emergency Response protocols. An in-depth question and answer session followed, with plenty of engagement from the room.

IMCA Contact

Rhys Jones
Technical Adviser – Marine Renewable Energy

After a short break, delegates returned to hear two case studies. Robb Hall (Equinor), presented on hurricane preparedness, building on Equinor’s combined experience of offshore wind and oil & gas development. Delegates then heard from Adam Cross (SGRE) about offshore rescue drills and the lesson learnt from them.

This was followed by a final workshop session were delegates worked together to scope Emergency Response exercise scenarios in table groups.

Commenting on the event, Rhys Jones, Technical Adviser – Marine Renewable Energy, IMCA, said: “We were delighted to be able to bring contractors, developers, regulators, and emergency services together to explore how we can improve emergency response in offshore wind in the US. It was great to see plenty of energy, ideas, and enthusiasm in the room, and we have plenty of take-aways to work on.

“A big thank you to IMCA Board Member G+ for co-hosting the day with us. In the spirit of the discussions and the workshop held on the day, it will only be through greater collaboration that we will be able to improve safety and performance and we look forward to continuing our work for a safer offshore wind industry in the US.”

Find out more about our work in North America and our Marine Renewable Energy committees.