Home Technology A ship on autopilot has crashed into an offshore wind turbine

A ship on autopilot has crashed into an offshore wind turbine

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A ship on autopilot has crashed into an offshore wind turbine

Wind turbines in the North Sea have been put at risk by ships on autopilot
(photo: CC0 Public Domain)

A collision of advanced technologies – that’s how you can describe the accident with a cargo ship moving on autopilot while crashing into an offshore wind turbine. The scene takes place off the coast of Germany in the North Sea.

According to German media, cited by Electrek, the ship collided with a wind turbine from the Gode Wind 1 array. The incident happened in April, and yesterday it was understood that the ship was on autopilot and veered off course by several kilometers.

The operator of the Gode Wind 1 array – the Danish company ├śrsted A / S – detected the entry of the ship into the power plant area, but did not contact the captain. It also does not notify the operator of the collision with the turbine.

The turbine was not damaged in the incident. It was taken out of service for 24 hours for inspection and then restarted. But the ship was not so lucky. The Antigua-flagged freighter Petra L with 1,500 tons of grain suffered a 5×3 meter hole on the starboard side.

No one was injured in the incident. Water had penetrated inside, but the ship, traveling from Szczecin in Poland to Belgium, managed to reach the port of Emden in Germany under its own power.

The 330 MW turbine proved so durable that its monitoring systems did not even register a collision with the bulk carrier. For this reason, the operating company did not consider it necessary to contact the master of the ship, although there were reasons to contact.

The turbine could have suffered more serious damage and become unsafe to operate after the accident if not checked, experts believe.

The Gode Wind 1 array consists of 55 wind turbines with rotors with a diameter of 154 m. It is located 45 km off the coast of Germany and is owned by the Danish wind energy giant ├śrsted. German authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

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