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Small workboats used on offshore wind farms: combined report on Windcat 9 and Island Panther incidents

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published a combined report on two incidents involving small workboats in the offshore renewables sector. The first incident is a contact with a floating target by the wind farm passenger transfer catamaran Windcat 9; the second, the contact of Island Panther with a wind turbine tower.

It is worth quoting the UK Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents from the foreword of the document: “The two accidents featured in this report occurred on the same day but in different circumstances. However, they share many common safety issues especially with respect to the standard of watch-keeping observed by the crews of both vessels. In particular, the MAIB’s investigations have highlighted a need for robust crew recruitment, training and assessment procedures to ensure the supply of mariners with the right skills. Flexible but rigorous watch-keeping practices are necessary together with recognition by the industry and regulator that the reliance on paper charts to navigate high-speed passenger transfer vessels is impractical and does not reflect the current custom of the trade.

“Perhaps the most noteworthy outcomes of the two investigations is the conclusion that there is a compelling need for the burgeoning offshore renewable energy industry to produce a comprehensive best practice guide for operators of workboats and to develop an effective means for promulgating safety lessons across the industry. Recommendations have been made to industry stakeholders to progress these two aims in a collaborative way.

“There is an opportunity for the offshore renewable energy industry to establish, at an early stage of its development, a shared safety culture which, if the opportunity is taken, will undoubtedly prevent accidents and save lives in the future.”

The report can be downloaded from

Safety Event

Published: 29 November 2013
Download: IMCA SF 17/13

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