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Crew transfer vessel in collision with anchor wire

A member has reported an incident in which an offshore wind farm crew transfer vessel (CTV) collided with an anchor wire under tension. The incident occurred when the CTV approached the starboard side boat landing of a cable lay barge. Difficulty was encountered in positioning the vessel onto the boat landing, and at the same time, a pre-alarm on the port engine sounded (indicating overheating exhaust gasses). Owing to this alarm and the subsequent automatic intervention of the electronic engine management system, the CTV lost part of its propulsion power. At this point, the vessel was taken by the current towards the anchor wire. Due to sea conditions causing the CTV to move, the wire acted as a saw and caused significant damage to the wheelhouse. After this the vessel came loose of the anchor wire and the current took the CTV further away. There were no injuries.

CTV caught by wire under tension, and damage to wheelhouse
CTV caught by wire under tension, and damage to wheelhouse
Vessel undamaged
Vessel undamaged

During Our member’s investigation, the following points were noted:

  • A similar incident had happened with the same CTV earlier in the year;
  • Crew transfers are executed so often that they can be considered as a ‘routine’ activity (‘taxi’) leading to risks being overlooked and complacency setting in;
  • Crew transfer is an important activity and should be formally risk assessed on each project since environmental conditions differ for each project;
  • Reporting, communicating and follow-up of incidents and near misses is important since this incident would have been prevented had the previous incident been properly reported, correctly communicated and follow-up had been in place and adhered to.


Members may wish to refer to the following similar incidents:

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