Master Fined After Wind Farm Collision

Posted by Eric Haun
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The master of a wind farm support vessel has today been made to pay £3,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to breaches of maritime collision regulations.

Geoffrey Whinfrey was in charge of the Island Panther when it collided with a wind turbine in the Sheringham Shoal wind farm on November 21, 2012.

Whinfrey had been requested by the wind farm operator - Scira Offshore Energy Ltd - that the Island Panther take off duty employees ashore due to the worsening weather conditions. It was dark and the wind was gusting up to 45mph, with driving rain and rough seas.

Passage plans had not been completed for any part of the journey. Whinfrey attempted to navigate through the wind farm using the safety lights on the wind turbine towers, which is against company policy. While passing through the wind farm he failed to notice that one of the turbine towers’ lights was not illuminated and subsequently hit that tower head on at approximately 12 knots.

The collision resulted in Whinfrey and his fellow crewman flying forward and hitting the control consul, plus people below were flung across the passenger cabin. Some of those onboard had to be taken to hospital with minor injuries and the vessel was also considerably damaged.

An investigation determined that the accident happened as Whinfrey was relying solely on the turbine safety lights and didn’t make good use of the lookout and navigation equipment on board.

Whinfrey today pleaded at Southampton Magistrates Court to breaches of Rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972. He was fined £1,000, plus £2,000 in costs.

Captain Peter Maynard, MCA Surveyor based at the Norwich Marine Office, said, “Mr. Whinfrey relied heavily on the lights of the turbine towers to navigate through the wind farm against company policy. He displayed poor seamanship by failing to keep a proper lookout by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances. It was very lucky that no one was seriously hurt.”
 

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Oil is on the Rise

Oil prices rose in early trading on Monday as Asian markets opened strongly into a holiday-shortened week and as consensus spread that Brent crude prices would

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

Maritime Safety

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

Offshore Energy

DNV GL Targets Safer Approach to Subsea Lifting

The completion of a joint industry project (JIP) to improve existing standards and regulations around subsea lifting operations has resulted in a new recommended practice (RP).

Polarcus Awarded 3D Project Off West Africa

Polarcus Limited has signed a letter of intent with Perenco Oil & Gas Gabon S.A. for a 3D marine seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa.   The project,

Boskalis, VolkerWessels Win Offshore Wind Farm Work

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., in partnership with Volker Stevin International (VolkerWessels), has been awarded a contract by Iberdrola Renewables Offshore Deutschland

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1411 sec (7 req/sec)