Barge Drifts Near UK Offshore Wind Farm

By MarEx 2013-09-11 11:19:00

Hartlepool RNLI went to the assistance of a 22-meter tug that had been towing a barge and lost its tow line on Wednesday.

The volunteer crewmembers of Hartlepool RNLI were paged at 3.15 a.m. on Wednesday by H M Humber Coastguard and asked to go to the assistance of a tug and barge that had lost their tow line off the Tees Fairway Buoy. 

The tug had been towing the barge on its way from Sunderland to Lowestoft when it lost the tow line east of the wind farm off Redcar. The barge was drifting towards the restricted area around the turbines.

Mike Craddy, Lifeboat Operations Manager, at Hartlepool RNLI said:

"The pagers went off at 3.15 a.m. and our volunteer crewmembers launched Hartlepool RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, Betty Huntbatch, at 3.29 a.m. There was a 4-meter swell when they arrived on scene at 3.45 a.m. The Coxwain, Robbie Maiden, quickly assessed the situation and began trying to recover the tow line which was floating in the water. A line was passed from the tug to the Hartlepool lifeboat and we attached that to our line which we had attached to the recovered line. This was then passed to the tug.

During this action one of our volunteer crewmembers injured his shoulder and as the situation was under control we returned to Hartlepool Marina, leaving the scene at 5.05 a.m."

The tow line was established for a second time by a River Tees tug that had been standing by. The tug and the barge were escorted away from the wind farm and Teesmouth by the River Tees tug and resumed their journey to Lowestoft.

Hartlepool RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat returned to Hartlepool Marina at 5.45 a.m. where the injured volunteer crewmember was given medical assistance by Hartlepool RNLI’s Doctor.